Why I don’t care if a business supports Adani
OPINION: JUST the other night I was having a scroll through Facebook when a sponsored post caught my attention.
It was a video by the Australian Conservation Foundation posing the question - 'Coles and Woolies showdown: Who will cut ties to big coal first?' Along with a call for people to sign an open letter.
As a millennial journalist living in Mackay, and as someone who covers mining issues regularly for work, that Facebook post really got me thinking: How much do I really care about whether or not a certain business or company supports coal or projects like Adani's Carmichael Mine? And would this impact whether or not I supported that particular business or company?
But it's not just the supermarket giants that have been put under the microscope by green groups for their affiliations with Adani, and coal more broadly.
In Mackay and other parts of regional Queensland, we've seen mum-and-dad businesses face the same scrutiny.
The fairness of that is an issue for another day - but is it fair to publicly persecute them and how much does it sway public opinion?
The first part of that question is tricky to answer.
Of course, everyone has a right to peacefully protest under freedom of speech, provided no laws are being broken.
Taking these rights away from our society would have dire consequences.
But there is some shade of grey to this when supply chain businesses, both big and small, are unable to provide a right of reply because of commercial in-confidence.
Especially when their business operations are affected.
Even if they did have ties with Adani or coal, does that make them the bad guys?
The fact is that many people in this region back the coal industry and coal jobs because their livelihoods depend on it.
If Australia does not open its arms to coal, those opportunities go overseas, which impacts our economy.
The same logic applies to the Coles vs Woolies dilemma.
My survival depends on being able to buy food and goods from supermarkets.
And if they don't want to support a massive Australian industry, we will just have to support our local butchers, fruit stores and independent grocers. No big deal.