Open Letter to Bill Shorten and Mark Dreyfus

Dear Mr Shorten and Mr Dreyfus,

I’m writing to strongly urge you to back away from anything that supports the Adani mega coal mine, planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Most urgently, please retract your support for Brandis’ amendments to the Native Title Act. To attempt to rush these amendments through parliament before anyone notices is shameful and so disrespectful.

For years, Indigenous Australians have seen their land rights abused, neglected and disregarded. So much of these so-called “rights” have been gradually taken away that now it seems it has almost become a tokenistic term.

As a white Australian, this saddens and angers me and doesn’t represent the equality and unity that I, along with so many others Australians, desperately want to see.  If Adani plans to come to this country and bulldoze traditionally-owned land, surely the TO’s of that land should have their say? And not, as seems to be happening, have their “rights” changed in court quietly at the last minute, in order to expedite the Adani project. How insulting.

This proposed mine isn’t just an Indigenous Australian issue, this is a human issue. If the coal from this Adani mega mine is burnt, it will tip not only Australia over it’s carbon budget, but the ENTIRE WORLD over it’s combined budget. 

Let that sink in for a minute. 

Can I remind you how dangerously close we are to triggering a tipping point beyond which there is no return? The world’s top scientists right now are telling us that this is not a joke. They are telling us to wake up. Environmental devastation, the likes of which we have never seen, is knocking on our door. The world is watching Australia right now and many are struggling to see how we could be considering something like this, at this vital time. 

This is a decision which should not be about money, or winning votes, or keeping your job, because this is about something much bigger. Our children and grandchildren will be paying the price for the mistakes we make now. It’s hard to contemplate, but it’s true. And it terrifies me as it should you.

This should be a turning point, we desperately need to be turning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. It is the energy of the future and in many respects our country is behind the ball on that front. Renewable energy projects around the world are taking off at the moment and non-renewable, dirty energy, is dying. It’s exciting and we can be a part of it if we choose to be!

So as a fellow human being and also a mother who will do anything to ensure my child doesn’t have to endure environmental collapse, I URGE you, please consider these decisions to be among the most important of your life and career. It is my belief that there has never been a more important time in history when it comes to making bold decisions about the environment and our future. 

– Missy Higgins