Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said Byron Shire's proposal was a preposterous suggestion.
Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said Byron Shire's proposal was a preposterous suggestion. Contributed

Hippie town's 'bizarre' boycott letter to councils

A HIPPIE town about 1300km south of the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine has sent a "bizarre" letter to two northern councils, calling on a boycott of businesses affiliated with Adani.

An engineer associated with both councils and the coal mining industry has fired back - suggesting Byron Shire Council was probably just angry there was drug testing on mine sites.

"Maybe they are just returning fire for not letting bong smokers into the mines," Field Engineers general manager David Hartigan said, lightly.

But the letter, sent to all Australian councils. including Isaac and Mackay, has sparked a war of words with those south of the border in Byron Bay.

Isaac region Mayor Anne Baker found the letter requesting the council to not support businesses that are affiliated with Adani offensive.

She said her chief executive officer Gary Stevenson delivered that message back to the northern NSW council in response to the "bizarre" request.

"Our CEO spoke personally with relevant officers of Byron Shire Council to convey our position," she said.

There are 26 active coal mines in the Isaac region and Cr Baker said she had never received a request like it before.

"This would mean that we are being asked to stop doing business with our local small-medium businesses that might supply or service Adani's needs," Cr Baker said.

"This is a preposterous suggestion, which appears not to have been given sensible consideration.

"Council is a strong advocate of buying local to support our Isaac business community and intends to remain so."

Mackay Regional Council confirmed it also had received the letter but did not plan to respond.

"While MRC respects that each council will have its own views on different matters, this council is fully supportive of any initiatives that will lead to increased economic stimulus and outcomes for North Queensland," the council said in a statement.

The Daily Mercury understands the letters were sent to all Australian councils after a resolution was passed at a Byron council meeting to not support any business that had an association with the Adani in protest of its Carmichael mine project.

Field Engineers has both council and mining industry clients, but Mr Hartigan said he had never heard of this type of lobbying.

He said such campaigning was unlikely to succeed because engineering dealt with the 'material needs of the community'.

"I don't see any credibility in this ... it's hilarious," he said.

Mr Hartigan said anyone with some sort of 'scientific literacy', including engineers, understood and believed in the human impact of global warming.

Numerous requests from the Daily Mercury to talk to a Byron Shire Council representative went unanswered.

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