None
None Harry Bruce

$25,000 pay-before-you-stay bond for Stop Adani Convoy

STRICT conditions will be placed on the Stop Adani Convoy when it spends two nights in Clermont after the Isaac Regional Council placed a high price on their stay.

A raft of contractual clauses, including one to cover civil unrest, and a $25,000 bond will need to be met by the convoy in order for the group to spend two nights at the Clermont Showgrounds.

According to a statement from the convoy, Clermont will be the closest the group will come to the proposed Carmichael coal mine.

IRC chief executive Gary Stevenson aimed to quell community concerns and said there was no choice but to accommodate the convoy.

"The inevitable reality of the situation is that this convoy was and still is coming to Clermont regardless of an approval to use the local showgrounds or otherwise," he said.

"For council, this presented the significant question of how to effectively manage an influx of 500 to 800 people into Clermont with a view to minimising impact and disruption.

"We have absolutely sought to protect the interests of the local community throughout this process.

"Council concluded that the Clermont Showgrounds was the most suitable venue to accommodate convoy participants and this is certainly a more appropriate outcome than leaving people to set up camp anywhere.

"It is the most appropriate site based on advice from the Queensland Police Service in relation to managing a large gathering of this scale."

Mr Stevenson described the strict conditions that would be placed on the convoy during their stay.

Stop Adani convoy plan
Stop Adani convoy plan Michelle Gately

"The outcome of this process is that significant conditioning, consistent with requirements placed on any major event, has been imposed on their approval to use the showground," he said.

"This includes a limit of 500 campers on-site overnight and 800 participants in total, a substantial bond to ensure any potential impacts to the site from such an event can be addressed at no cost to ratepayers, and specific provisions for public safety."

Despite the conditions, IRC was eventually convinced the convoy would carry out the visit in good faith despite having unfavourable experiences with similar groups in the past.

"We have sought this undertaking and clarity of intent in response to community concern about the invasive nature of recent vegan activism in rural areas and past disruptive actions by anti-Adani protesters in areas such as Bowen," he said.

"Queensland Police Service has approved a Notice of Intent for convoy participants to undertake peaceful assembly in the Clermont area. Council cannot reasonably refuse such a request without having the matter considered before a magistrate," he said.

"As a council we need to take a measured and reasonable position, which includes acknowledging the right to peaceful assembly and protest."

 

Bob Brown is the keynote speaker for the 18th annual Big Scrub Rainforest Day.
Bob Brown, convoy leader

Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said the organisation was glad to be accommodated by the IRC, but the $25,000 bond presented issues.

"Our foundation thanks the council for accepting our application and the convoy is sure to boost business in the town. We look forward to our stay," she said.

"As we have just one week to raise the $25,000 we will appeal to the public for the money and are confident of paying the bonds."

"It is an unusual situation for us, as peaceful citizens, to be providing indemnity against Adani backers' potential destructiveness.

" It would seem logical that if mine-backers cause costs then they or the mine owners should pay the bill."

She assured the convoy would go about their business peacefully in Clermont and at any other stop along the way.

"We understand the council will be brought under pressure and will comply with even these unusual conditions. Our presence in Clermont as everywhere along the way will be to celebrate nature, not least the Great Barrier Reef, and for the future security for the planet. It is abundantly clear that this will require much greater action on global warming," she said.