LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Can thousands of people standing in lines to spell out “Stop Adani” actually scupper the Indian company’s plans to develop a huge coal mine in the Australian outback?
Perhaps a more relevant question is whether the protesters are enough to make Australia’s federal and Queensland state politicians lose their nerve, and quietly withdraw support for what is the world’s largest new coal mine planned.
While Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party, which holds federal power, and the Labor Party, which rules Queensland state, have maintained their backing for Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael mine so far, both have also previously backed down on political issues over possible electoral losses.
Thousands of people opposed to the $4 billion, 25 million tonnes-a-year Carmichael mine turned out at various locations across Australia on Oct. 7, attending events organised by an umbrella organisation of groups opposed to the development.
While the presence of protesters isn’t enough itself to cause the federal and state governments to abandon Adani, there is an opinion poll showing a majority of Australians are against the mine. Also, media coverage has grown increasingly sceptical, if not hostile.