I've been trying to write this since Thursday

Published:

I've been trying to write this since last Thursday. To be honest, I've struggled to know where to start. 

By now, you'll have seen Adani has been granted their crucial groundwater approval. I won't lie, it's a bitter blow. It has no consent from the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners. It flies in the face of science. Of the water experts. Of the farmers and communities desperately struggling through a gruelling drought. 

It means Adani is allowed to begin a new round of work. We can expect triumphant images of heavy machinery being wheeled out from next week. To the outside eye, it might look a lot like we've lost. 

But I need to you know that's not right. You can't tell from reading the headlines, but there's still a heap standing in Adani's way. 

Adani can't find a contractor willing to actually dig the mine. They haven't secured insurance. They still need two more Federal approvals. They don't have consent from the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners, who continue to fight them in court. And Adani International still needs to take the enormous risk of sending $2 billion dollars to Adani Australia, despite the precarious economics. 

In Adani's best-case scenario, they won't be extracting coal from the Galilee for another two years. 

There is still hope, but I won't sugar coat it. We're up against it like we've almost never been before. 

The context we face can feel impossibly hard. And the questions we have to answer can seem impenetrably complex. 

We must work out how to combat the likes of Clive Palmer, who has his own Galilee Basin coal aspirations, after he just spent $60 million on advertising to make sure the Coalition won the election. 

We must confront the racist and divisive minor parties like One Nation that have swept up disaffected voters and emerged as a terrifying electoral power and are willing to stake everything on getting new coal mines like Adani built. 

We need to work out how to rebuild and re-harness our electoral power in new areas after a bitterly disappointing and surprising election result. We need to re-prosecute the case that the electorate wants to justly transition away fossil-fuels and protect their future from the climate crisis. 

The questions we face are huge. And we don't pretend to have a silver bullet or a simple action we can take to solve them. 

So instead of pretending to know the answers, I want us to meet and work it out together. 

From next week, we'll be holding small gatherings all over the country. In small groups of three or four or five or ten, we'll get together and talk – properly talk – about what we do next. About Adani, about coal, the climate crisis, about how we re-focus justice at the centre of our work. 

It will be a chance to look after each other. To listen to each other and to learn from each other. To take stock, to discuss what's working, what's not, and to float new ideas entirely. Together, we'll use our collective experience, knowledge and passion to regroup and start to plot the path forward. 

We need all the brains and hearts we can get. Can you join or host a get together discussion? 

What: A local Get Together 
When: Roughly the 24 June - end of July, we will let you know! 
Where: A kitchen, backyard, local cafe or community space 
Who: Other local GetUp and community members 

I can host a Get Together 
No, but I can attend one. 

For the moment, it's clear the pendulum has swung back in Adani's favour. But I want to remind you just how far we've come. When we first heard about the enormous coal reserves in the Galilee Basin in 2010, things were dire. 

We were staring down the face of 6 new mega coal ports along the Queensland coast, and 12 new enormous coal mines. 

From the very beginning, we were told fighting them was impossible. 

To this day, I still have the condescending laugh of an industry executive burned into my mind when I told him what we planned to do. 

Well, these companies expected their coal to be burning across the world from 2012. To this day, not a single lump has been extracted. 

So much of that has been because of this extraordinary movement. I'm not overstating this, but without your efforts, without the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people from countless organisations who have stood up across the last decade, the Galilee Basin would almost certainly have been polluting our planet with carbon pollution for years. 

The climate crisis would be even worse. Queensland's groundwater spoiled. The ancestral lands of Traditional Owners devastated. The world as we know it would be a tangibly worse place. 

But instead, we've fought. First, we forced Adani to abandon their plans to dredge millions of cubic metres of Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area seabed for their coal port. That should have been impossible. 

We've united to help oust a Campbell Newman Queensland Government who planned to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the multinational coal companies. It was one of the biggest swings in Australian political history. It should have been impossible. 

This movement has helped convince more than 36 of the world's biggest banks not to touch the mine, including some of the biggest fossil-fuel lenders in the world. Many of these banks had never ruled out a fossil fuel project because of public pressure before. This should have been impossible. 

When Matt Canavan and Tony Abbott Government cooked up a slush fund designed explicitly to funnel a billion dollars to get Adani started, it was considered a final blow to our campaign. Stopping it should have been impossible. But it wasn't. 

For the last decade, this movement has done the impossible. 

Right now, many of us feel tired, we feel been beaten-up, and we don't know the exact path forward. But I know one thing. Together, for the last decade, this movement has consistently done the impossible. And we're not about to stop. 

I still don't know what our next steps will look like. But I would love for you to come together with us to help work it out. 

I can host a Get Together 
No, but I can attend one. 

With my strength. With my love. From the bottom of my weary and determined heart. 

Sam R, for the GetUp team 
Australian Government Business Business & Economy Conservation Energy & Water Environment Political Queensland Government
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GetUp! Australia :
PO Box A105, Sydney South, NSW, 1235, Australia Wide
GetUp! Australia
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