Mollie Cox is a yoga teacher and activist who is fighting the development of the largest coal mine in the world on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Pip Andreas caught up with Mollie to find out more about her nationwide yoga events that are raising funds to help stop the Carmichael Mega Mine.
Why have you become so passionate about stopping Adani’s Carmichael coal mine expansion?
Aside from being one of my favourite places in the whole world, the Barrier Reef is the lungs of the ocean on the East Coast of Australia. It is one of the natural wonders of the world, and the world’s largest living organism. It is sacred country to our Indigenous population.
This Carmichael Mega Mine is a direct threat to the Great Barrier Reef. If this mine goes ahead, not only will the carbon emissions from burning the coal cook our climate – but the dredging, the mining process for coal, the thousands of ships passing through and next to World Heritage Sites will destroy our Reef.
The government wants to give Adani a $1 billion loan to develop a rail link. What is the problem with this rail link as you see it?
If this rail line goes ahead, it opens up opportunities for other mines in and around the Galillee basin to move forward in their projects. It also is a big green light for the Carmichael Mega Mine to get started. Without funding, Adani will struggle to move forward with the project.
The Queensland Government supports the mine because of the jobs it will provide. What alternative jobs to the mining industry would you like to see the government investing in?
Jobs are crucial for our economy, yes. But coal is not the future. It is an industry that is dying, economically speaking. The whole world is taking steps toward renewable energy. The Australian Government, rather than ignorantly moving forward with fossil fuel, should read the ever increasing scientific data on the effect it is having on climate change and act responsibly. We have an abundance of sunshine and land. We should be setting up solar panels and wind farms.
You are donating money raised to the Mackay Conservation Group, Environmental Defenders Organisation, and the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council. Why have you chosen these particular groups?
These groups are the most active when it comes to taking on Adani and the QLD Government in Court, and yet they are largely reliant on donations from good people like you and me. At this stage, the battles in court are the things prolonging the start of this project, so it is important to support them in whatever way we can.
You mentioned at your Yoga for the Reef Fundraiser that emailing relevant State and Federal Government offices is not as effective as writing physical letters. Why is this so?
Politicians are not reading emails, nor are they sending personalised emails in return anymore. Hand written letters are read with more interest, as it shows that there has been thought put into what has been said. The Australian Marine Conservation Society also mentioned that in Queensland the politicians are legally obligated to read handwritten letters.
Where should interested individuals send their letters?
The QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The biggest issue revolving around these projects is funding. Even contacting the banks still loaning money to fossil fuel companies – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and NAB – and asking them to divest from these destructive companies.
When is the next event?
30th April 2017. We are going to hold these events around the country every three months until our Reef is safe from industrialisation. It is crucial to keep up the momentum with this issue to hold our politicians accountable for their decisions regarding our Reef.
For more information about event locations Australia wide go to: