‘Do it for the kids’: Plea to let Adani mine go ahead
INDIAN Australians are pleading with anti-Adani activists and Bill Shorten to let millions of dirt poor "little girls and boys" have electricity or risk a voter backlash in marginal seats across the country.
In one of the biggest signals that Adani will become a defining issue of the federal election, Indian leaders are alerting the 750,000-strong Australian India community to the "stupid comments" made by Tanya Plibersek, who was yesterday called on to clarify her views.
It comes as Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said yesterday he would join a convoy to central Queensland over Easter to campaign against Adani.
Griffith University's Ashutosh Misra - a former adviser to the Indian Government - yesterday said Ms Plibersek's comments "could take (the Australia-Indian) relationship back 10 years" and were "stupid".
Ms Plibersek told Melbourne Radio last week that, "we can't rely on an Indian mining company to bring jobs to central and north Queensland".
Australia has large Indian communities in La Trobe in Victoria and Reid in NSW, both Liberal marginal seats.
Dr Misra, the Australia India Engagement chief executive, said multicultural communities would notice Ms Plibersek's comments. He asked those against Adani to think of children in India who should have the same as children in Australia.
"Millions of little children have never seen light (from electricity). This is the 21st century,'' Dr Misra told The Courier-Mail. "They use an oil lamp to study, which is so dangerous. (Adani) will change the lives of millions. Go to an Indian village and talk to a little girl who has never seen light. Climate change is a luxury."
He challenged those against Adani to go without electricity for just a week.
Ms Plibersek said she had worked hard to strengthen Australia's relationship with India.
"Australians should never have to rely on just one company for jobs, which is why Scott Morrison should back Labor's plan to create thousands of Queensland jobs by investing in road, rail, and port projects,'' she told The Courier-Mail.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan said Mr Shorten and Senator Di Natale would be "co-captains in seeking to take away jobs from the coal sector because both of them are talking about transitioning away from coal".
Senator di Natale yesterday doubled down on his 2030 plan to transition away from "both the coal we burn here for power, and the coal that we export overseas".