Emu Park saw a mixed crowd of pro and anti-Adani protesters as the convoy staged an event last year.
Emu Park saw a mixed crowd of pro and anti-Adani protesters as the convoy staged an event last year.

#StopAdani convoy celebrates anniversary, MP claims victory

IT was a clash of two sparsely different worlds as Tasmania-based former Greens leader Bob Brown led a troop of environmentalists into the heart of coal country to protest just that.

The Bob Brown Foundation is hosting a virtual event tonight to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Stop Adani Convoy's visit to Central Queensland.

On May 5 last year, thousands converged on Parliament Lawns in Canberra after the convoy arrived off the back of a demonstration in the Galilee Basin.

Bob Brown held a press conference after the 'Stop Adani Convoy' arrived at Parliament House in Canberra when the convoy returned from Central Queensland. Picture by Sean Davey.
Bob Brown held a press conference after the 'Stop Adani Convoy' arrived at Parliament House in Canberra when the convoy returned from Central Queensland. Picture by Sean Davey.

The virtual event will air the documentary CONVOY, which follows Bob Brown and the Stop Adani Convoy's road trip from Tasmania to the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, to protest the development of the Carmichael coal mine.

Organiser Jenny Weber unpacked what the event would offer virtual attendees.

"We are proud to host a special virtual event which sees the online release of the film CONVOY and a live panel so people can dig deeper into the stories behind the epic journey and the ongoing campaign to stop the Adani Carmichael coal mine," she said.

Greens senator Larissa Waters (left) with former Greens Party leader Bob Brown during a Stop Adani rally in Brisbane, Monday, April 22, 2019. Brown led a convoy which departed Hobart on April 17 who joined protesters to march on the Adani HQ in Brisbane's CBD. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Greens senator Larissa Waters (left) with former Greens Party leader Bob Brown during a Stop Adani rally in Brisbane, Monday, April 22, 2019. Brown led a convoy which departed Hobart on April 17 who joined protesters to march on the Adani HQ in Brisbane's CBD. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

"It follows former Greens leader Bob Brown, and the many concerned Australians that join him, as he sets out on an epic road trip from Tasmania to the Galilee Basin in Far North Queensland, a journey of over 3500 kilometres, to stop the development of the Carmichael coal mine."

The convoy was met with numerous counter rallies as it passed through Central Queensland as organisers staged events in Emu Park, Mackay, Airlie Beach and the final destination - Clermont.

CLERMONT, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 27: One Nation Party leader, Pauline Hanson met locals and pro-Adani supporters as anti-Adani environment activists arrived by convoy on April 27, 2019 in Clermont. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams)
CLERMONT, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 27: One Nation Party leader, Pauline Hanson met locals and pro-Adani supporters as anti-Adani environment activists arrived by convoy on April 27, 2019 in Clermont. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams)

The small Central Queensland town of Clermont ballooned with both pro and anti-coal protesters alike, as well as numerous political notables including Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, Clive Palmer and Senator Matt Canavan who was the resources minister at the time.

 

Frank Humphreys, Scotty Stevens and Jack Trenaman from SMW Group joined JRT group owner took the pro-coal message to Clermont where the Stop Adani Convoy where to rally. The four men collectively employ over 500 people in the Central Queensland mining and construction industries. They hoped to be able to provide the convoy members with some understanding of the importance of coal in Central Queen
Frank Humphreys, Scotty Stevens and Jack Trenaman from SMW Group joined JRT group owner took the pro-coal message to Clermont where the Stop Adani Convoy where to rally. The four men collectively employ over 500 people in the Central Queensland mining and construction industries. They hoped to be able to provide the convoy members with some understanding of the importance of coal in Central Queen

 

While the convoy's stay in Clermont went off largely without incident, one convoy member was allegedly trampled by a horse ridden by a pro-coal supported who fled but was subsequently caught and charged.

Supplied image obtained Sunday, April 28, 2019 of a northern NSW woman who was injured during a Stop Adani Convoy event in Clermont. A man on horseback has been arrested after he allegedly knocked over a woman while riding into an anti-Adani protest in central Queensland. (AAP Image/Matthew Newton/Bob Brown Foundation)
Supplied image obtained Sunday, April 28, 2019 of a northern NSW woman who was injured during a Stop Adani Convoy event in Clermont. A man on horseback has been arrested after he allegedly knocked over a woman while riding into an anti-Adani protest in central Queensland. (AAP Image/Matthew Newton/Bob Brown Foundation)

 

Just two weeks after the convoy concluded its journey, and news broke that Ms Landry had held her Capricornia seat convincingly at the federal election, Senator Canavan thanked Dr Brown for the victory.

"Michelle gave a lot of thankyous tonight but there's one person I want to thank - I want to thank Mr Bob Brown," Senator Canavan told Ms Landry's victory party.

Reflecting on the convoy's visit to Central Queensland, the Capricornia MP said locals have a long memory.

Labor campaign volunteer on Rockhampton's doorstep had a message for the Stop Adani Convoy as it passed through
Labor campaign volunteer on Rockhampton's doorstep had a message for the Stop Adani Convoy as it passed through

"Bob Brown's and the Greens' arrogance and condescension towards hard-working families in regional communities will not be forgotten," Ms Landry said.

"By celebrating their disastrous convoy to Central Queensland, it shows that Bob Brown and the Greens still haven't learnt a single thing about regional communities and jobs in the resources industry.

MINING SUPPORT: National Party MPs Flynn's Ken O'Dowd, Senator Matt Canavan, leader Michael McCormack, Deputy Senator Bridget McKenzie, Capricornia's Michelle Landry, Dawson's George Christensen took their pro-Adani message to Canberra.
MINING SUPPORT: National Party MPs Flynn's Ken O'Dowd, Senator Matt Canavan, leader Michael McCormack, Deputy Senator Bridget McKenzie, Capricornia's Michelle Landry, Dawson's George Christensen took their pro-Adani message to Canberra.

"They are welcome to visit Central Queensland any time before the Queensland state election and they should expect the same receptions as they did during the federal election."

In the year since, the Bob Brown Foundation has launched AdaniWatch, described as a "project to report on the global controversies in which the Adani Group is entangled" headed by environmentalist Geoff Law.

The Foundation plans to host a live Q&A event online tonight with Bob Brown, CONVOY director Matthew Newton, AdaniWatch investigator Geoff Law and Galilee Blockade organiser Ben Pennings.

Bob Brown at the stop Adani rally in Mackay on Saturday 27 April 2019.
Bob Brown at the stop Adani rally in Mackay on Saturday 27 April 2019.