Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson. Marc Stapelberg

Protest letter over Adani mine project cops flack

THE mayor of a Central Queensland council has labelled as "preposterous" and "bizarre" a letter sent to it by Byron Shire Council.

The letter requested it cease dealing with any businesses affiliated with controversial coal miner Adani.

Byron Shire sent the letter to all Australian councils after it passed a resolution in protest of Adani's planned Carmichael mine project.

But the high-principled request went down like a leaky coal ship with at least one council in Central Queensland.


Mayor Anne Baker, who has been fiercely advocating with Isaac Regional Council and regional communities, for an end to forced fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) practices, with Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Anne Baker the mayor of Issac in Central Quensland. Contributed

Mayor of Isaac Regional Council (near Mackay) Anne Baker said she found the letter offensive, and said the council's CEO had delivered that message back to Byron Shire Council in no uncertain terms.

"Our CEO spoke personally with relevant officers of Byron Shire Council to convey our position," she said.

Cr Baker said there were 26 active coal mines in the Isaac region and she had never received a request like it before.

"This would mean that we are being asked to stop doing business with our local small-medium businesses that might supply or service Adani's needs," Cr Baker said.

"This is a preposterous suggestion, which appears not to have been given sensible consideration.

"Council is a strong advocate of buying local to support our Isaac business community and intends to remain so."

Mackay Regional Council nearby confirmed it had also received the letter but did not plan to respond.

"While MRC respects that each council will have its own views on different matters, this council is fully supportive of any initiatives that will lead to increased economic stimulus and outcomes for North Queensland," the council said in a statement.

The letter also copped criticism from a Mackay mining engineer, who humorously suggested Byron Shire Council was probably just angry there was drug testing on mine sites.

"Maybe they are just returning fire for not letting bong smokers into the mines," Field Engineers general manager David Hartigan said, lightly.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson was contacted for comment but could not be reached prior to deadline.