Protestors storm stage as CQ senator defends Adani support
PROTESTORS stormed ABC's Q and A stage last night as Rockhampton-based senator Matthew Canavan tried to explain his support for Adani's $16 billion central Queensland mega mine.
The Resources and Northern Australia Minister, and panellist on the program, was asked why he was so "gung ho" behind Adani's "dirty old" project.
Senator Canavan's response was disrupted by a #StopAdani protester, Michael Dillon who ran on stage yelling the senator was "robbing us of our future".
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The protester was whisked away by security within seconds.
"I'm a bit shaken up, bit pumped, I knew it was going to be a dash up on stage to get my letter to Matt Canavan," he said in a video after the event.
The consideration of a $1 billion loan for the rail project from the National Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) was also hotly debated.
If it goes ahead, Adani's central Queensland Carmichael Mine is expected to create thousands of jobs, and would be the largest coal mine in Australia.
"The loan is still under consideration ... It's an investment, not a subsidy," Senator Canavan said.
He told the Sydney audience that north and central Queenslanders "overwhelmingly support" the coal mine and rail project.
The spotlight returned to Senator Canavan when a questioner asked how Australia could transition to renewable energy in a way that did not include coal.
"Let's wait and see what happens, we should look at all options, we shouldn't close our minds to new technologies, in particular these high efficiency, low emissions, coal fired power stations," he said.
Queensland Labor MP Terri Butler said Australia should be investing in renewable technology instead.
"We know the learning rate for solar and wind is so good, so why would we sink billions into a coal-fired power station that isn't going to mitigate any issues now and it's going to take a decade to build," she said.
Senator Canavan also referenced the more than 100 jobs lost at Boyne Smelter Limited following the closure of Hazelwood's power station and said Australia needed to plan ahead to avoid similar disruptions when NSW power stations also closed in the coming years.