NOBBYS Beach was emblazoned with a clear message that was visible from above on Saturday: the words “Stop Adani”, spelled out by a human billboard as part of a national day of action opposing the proposed Carmichael coal mine.
The message was repeated across the country as more than 16,000 activists formed human protest signs at 45 locations, including iconic sites like Bondi Beach, the Whitsundays, Perth’s Cottesloe Beach and Port Douglas.
At Nobbys, more than 600 people donned red and hit the sand to express their opposition to what would be one of the biggest coal mines in the world.
There were impassioned speeches and musical performances as hundreds clutched anti-coal signs.
“The Adani coal mine would fuel climate change, bringing more frequent and intense storms and bushfires,” Naomi Hodgson, an organiser of the Newcastle event, said.
“It is madness to open the Adani mega coal mine at a time Australia needs to be transitioning away from coal.”
The national day of opposition came as a new poll found the massive coal mine – and a proposed $1 billion government-funded loan – was lagging in public support.
Adani has promised thousands of local jobs but opponents say the project will fuel global warming and destroy the Great Barrier Reef.
Research commissioned by The Australia Institute found 30 per cent of Australians supported Adani's plans for the mine, which is backed by both sides of politics at the federal and state levels.
Conversely, 44 per cent of voters opposed the project, including 49 per cent of Labor voters and 29 per cent of Coalition voters, while 26 per cent of respondents said they were not sure or did not know.
The Survey used a representative sample across age, gender and state.
It was taken in late September, before the ABC's Four Corners revealed Adani had hitherto unknown ties to the British Virgin Islands tax haven, as well as allegations of corruption, bribery and environmentally destructive behaviour.
A separate ReachTel poll released to coincide with Saturday’s protests also found high levels of opposition to both the mine and the federal government loan.
After being told there were concerns about Adani's corporate track record and the environmental impact of the mine, 55.5 per cent of voters said they opposed the project, and only 26.1 per cent said they supported it, according to the ReachTel poll of 2194 Australians.
The poll was taken on October 4 following the Four Corners expose.