Politics

Here’s One Tweet To Sum Up Matt Canavan’s Time As A Minister

What a legacy.

The controversial Adani coal mine — and coal mining in general — has lost one of its biggest allies with the loss of Matt Canavan as Resources Minister and Minister For Northern Australia, and environmental groups are cheering.

Canavan stepped down from the ministry last night after it was revealed his mum had signed him up for Italian citizenship, apparently without his knowledge. That’s a spicy meatball!

Under section 44 of the Constitution, a person cannot be elected to parliament while holding citizenship with another country. Canavan hasn’t yet resigned from parliament because his exact citizenship status is unclear. His future will probably be decided by the High Court.

Canavan was the most enthusiastic backer of the Adani coal mine that’s proposed for central Queensland. Scientists and environmental groups say the mine, which will produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year, will be a disaster for the environment — especially the Great Barrier Reef.

But as minister, Canavan put all of the government’s weight behind the project, saying it would create 10,000 jobs for regional Queensland — a claim that has been cast into serious doubt by Adani’s own experts.

Canavan has pushed for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to give Adani a $1 billion loan to help get the project off the ground, and said any carbon emissions produced by the mine’s coal aren’t Australia’s problem because the coal will be burned in India.

GetUp’s environmental justice director Sam Regester told Junkee the government should use the loss of Canavan as a chance to re-assess its support for Adani.

“As Minister for Northern Australia, Matt Canavan made it his personal mission to deliver a billion dollars of public money to Adani,” Regester said. “To see a federal minister make several media appearances per day with the sole intention of spruiking a single offshore mining company was as extraordinary as it was terrifying.”

If the Adani mine ever does go ahead, it appears unlikely Canavan will be around to cut the ribbon, so just let this tweet stand as his legacy:

Canavan sent the tweet in response to the Queensland government’s announcement that it was setting a target of zero net emissions by 2050. For Canavan, this was a bad thing.

In Matt Canavan’s world, jobs today were more important than having a planet tomorrow.