Friday April 26, 2019
Home Uncategorized Australia&#82...

Australia’s PM criticized by environment groups for supporting Adani project

0
//

Sydney: Even though the mining pundits are convinced that India’s Adani Group is all set to quit Australia because of continuous delays, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come out openly to support the proposed mega coal mine project owned by Gautam Adani-led Indian conglomerate.

Photo credit: abc.net.au
Photo credit: abc.net.au

Abbot has expressed “anger” and “frustration” over a Federal Court decision to set aside the environmental approval for Adani Group’s proposed mega coal mining project in central Queensland.

“While it’s absolutely true that we want the highest environmental standards to apply to projects in Australia, and while it’s absolutely true that people have a right to go to court, this is a $21 billion investment, it will create 10,000 jobs in Queensland and elsewhere in our country,” Abbott said while talking to media on Friday.

“Let them go ahead for the workers of Australia and for the people of countries like India who right at the moment have no electricity,” Australian PM said while implying that coal exported from the proposed mega mine would have fired multiple power plants in the South Asian country.

Tony Abbott is believed to be worried about the message the Federal Court decision could give to the potential foreign investors. The continuous opposition to Adanis and other foreign investors, in general, can send wrong signals to those who are looking for investments in various sectors, he said.

“Already the Adani group has invested about $3 billion in Australia in preparation for this further investment,” Tony Abbott said.

Whatever the motive, the Prime Minister has come under severe attack for defending Adani’s project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Various political, environment protection and legal commentators have lambasted Tony Abbott for his comments.

NSW Bar Association president Jane Needham is among those who expressed concern at Tony Abbott’s ‘anti-judiciary’ remarks.

“These comments demonstrate a lack of understanding of the independent role of the courts in our democracy,” she was quoted in an article.

“The courts exist to make decisions according to the law, not to further the interests of particular individuals or organisations, including government,” Needham said.

Although the Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten did not say anything against Adani Group’s coal mine, he attacked the Liberal Government for the “haste” with which it approved the project.

“Half this mess we’re in with Adani is because the government rushed its approvals and then it got tripped up in the court system,” Bill Shorten said in a statement.

The environment protection groups have also joined the chorus of criticism.

“The legal system is in place to protect us and the world around us. Clearly the government thinks it is above the law,” Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Ellen Roberts said.

Adani too came under direct attack from others.

“It’s typical that Adani, who have ridden roughshod over India’s environment laws, consider Australia’s native animals mere technicalities.” Mackay Conservation Group coordinator Ellen Roberts has been quoted in Australian media as saying. Her organisation had launched the legal challenge against Adani Group

“These laws protect not only yakka skinks and ornamental snakes, but all Australian plants and animals,” Ellen Roberts said. These two illusive native animals see to have jeopardized the Indian conglomerate’s investment of $3 billion.

Greenpeace International, which is embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the Indian Government, has also fired a salvo at someone defending the commercial interests of a person considered very close to Prime minister Narendra Modi.

“It deeply, deeply concerns me when a government that claims to be, not only a democracy, but claims to be a promoter of democracy, would bark at the judiciary when they exercise their role and their independence,” executive director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo said in a statement.

(IANS)

Next Story

Australia Passes Social Media Law Over Violent Content

The Law Council of Australia said the legislation could have "serious unintended consequences", CNN reported

0
carbon, digital
Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Internet providers and tech giants like Facebook and Google will be compelled to remove violent content in a sweeping new law passed in Australia on Thursday.

Under the new law, which passed both houses of Parliament, obligations will be placed on internet companies to stop the spread of violent material. Failure to do so could see executives face up to three years in jail, or fines of up to 10 per cent of the platform’s annual turnover, reports CNN.

The development comes in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch which was live streamed on social media by the shooter while he killed 50 worshippers in two mosques.

Platforms have struggled in the weeks since to remove copies of the video, which have been repeatedly uploaded.

“The tragedy in Christchurch just over two weeks ago brought this issue to a head,” Australian Attorney General Christian Porter said in a statement on Thursday.

Social media
An illustration picture shows a man starting his Twitter app on a mobile device in Hanau near Frankfurt. VOA

“It was clear from our discussions last week with social media companies, particularly Facebook, that there was no recognition of the need for them to act urgently to protect their own users from the horror of the live streaming of the Christchurch massacre and other violent crimes, and so the (government) has taken action with this legislation.”

The law was passed with the support of the opposition Labor Party and despite strenuous objections from industry bodies and some lawmakers, who warned against a knee-jerk rush to pass legislation that could have far-reaching ramifications.

Also Read- After Pixel Devices, Google Duplex Reaching iOS Users in US Cities

The Law Council of Australia said the legislation could have “serious unintended consequences”, CNN reported.

“Making social media companies and their executives criminally liable for the live streaming of criminal content is a serious step which requires careful consideration. Furthermore, the proposed legislation should not absolve the government taking steps to prevent crimes being live streamed,” Law Council President Arthur Moses SC said in a statement. (IANS)