Letter From Australia

1a australiaUranium and coal for the Indians — and big profits for Aussie capitalists

By Julia Meek in Melbourne

One can be very happy living in a different country, loving its warm-hearted, generous majority of people, loving its different flora and fauna, and so on.

But that does not prevent one from criticizing the ambitions of the politicians and the greed of the capitalists. Such phenomena are everywhere!

Australia’s right-leaning PM, Tony Abbott, is celebrating his first year in office.  (The general opinion is that the preceding Labor government shot itself in the foot with leadership squabbles).

Tony, a climate change denier, and his Cabinet have issued a budget that abolishes the carbon tax and cuts many social services.220px-Tony_Abbott_-_2010

And he’s just completed a state visit to India, where he reviewed troops and celebrated a new deal selling uranium to that country, with hopes that its use would be peaceful.

Sludge and the Reef
One of India’s richest men, Gautam Adani, is set to expand coal production in his property in the Galilee Basin near the east coast of Queensland opposite the precious Great Barrier Reef. This is leading to development of the Abbot Point port that is thus dumping sludge near the Great Barrier Reef in the process.

great barrier reefThe Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage site, is already showing signs of degradation
Adani is perhaps attracting attention as he is an Indian national. Australia has however, its share of homegrown capitalists exploiting mineral resources to the full. One is billionaire Gina Rinehart, a coal and ore magnate whose disputes with her offspring over the profits have attracted headlines.

And an an opencast mine at Hazelwood caught fire recently, necessitating locals of all ages at nearby Morwell to wear facemasks all the time against the pollution of air. Dirty stuff, coal.

All this  makes me think New Zealanders have reason to be proud of those who have gone out on peaceful flotillas of yachts and small boats to oppose nuclear weaponry and foreign fossil fuel explorations.

Having read the article by a Queenslander, here are his views:-

Written by a left wing greeny who wants to save the planet but at the same time destroying
Lots of peoples jobs and lives doing so and then you wonder why NZ doesn’t get ahead nearly the same population as QLD but nowhere near the same productivity