Townsville’s ‘road to Paris’ moment: the slow greening of an Adani stronghold | Adani Group

“Adani was about the here and now for the community,” says Townsville’s mayor, Jenny Hill, reflecting on a decade spent championing the thermal coal project as a way to reduce the city’s high unemployment rate.

“There were no jobs. There was no interest in manufacturing. It was important to give the community hope for the future.”

Townsville’s place at the forefront of the coal wars have made Hill, who is a member of the ALP, a prominent figure in the party’s schism over coal and climate. In 2019 she told a forum run by Labor’s Chifley Research Centre that the city’s mantra was “we stick to our guns: we support mining”.

It is remarkable, then, that Hill now says clean energy – and not thermal coal – will be at the forefront of Townsville’s future economy.

“If you’re smart in politics you’ve got to deal with the short term, but you’ve got to deal with the long term as well,” Hill tells Guardian Australia.

“The market will eventually decide what happens with thermal coal and where it ends up. The Japanese have put it out there on public record they are going to cut their thermal coal imports.

“Economies [like South Korea and Japan] want clean energy and that means green hydrogen. We’re in a position to be able to deliver.”

Some locals in Townsville described the subtle but significant shift in language from community and business leaders as a “road to Paris conversion” – a pivot brought about by rapidly changing international sentiment and declining prospects for coal.

Hill doesn’t directly acknowledge a suggestion that the ground has shifted from a point a few years ago when she described Adani to the writer Anna Krien as “the only next big thing”.

But she now speaks with zeal about the sorts of transition opportunities that might be created in a place where the port could link Queensland’s rare earth mineral deposits with the world; and where refining and manufacturing is already being fuelled by the city’s 320 days of annual sunlight.

Townsville is developing an eco-industrial precinct with plans for a solar microgrid to power battery manufacturing, a nickel refinery and other industries. This week the port of Townsville signed a memorandum of understanding with energy company Origin to export green hydrogen, which could be produced locally with non-potable water and solar power.

“The scientist in me sees it as a pilot study,” Hill said.

“I will always support mining, but it doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of these new technologies and bring manufacturing back into this country.

“This is about reimagining the economy for my community and building it. If it works here, it can help ensure we get growth.”

The future is sunny

Last month Solar Citizens, a lobby group for solar owners and renewables supporters, released a report detailing how Townsville could become a renewable energy “powerhouse”, creating 11,000 jobs – equivalent to 10% of the city’s total workforce.

Proposed manufacturing and industry projects powered by renewables could be worth $154bn over their lifetime, the report found.

The city already has a company spearheading the transition: the Korea Zinc-owned refiner SunMetals, one of Queensland’s biggest energy consumers, and the first power-intensive facility in Australia to build its own solar farm.

The Townsville council and its regional business lobby, Townsville Enterprise, are heavily promoting plans to build an “eco-industrial precinct” at Lansdown, which would run on a renewable micro-grid and could include a battery manufacturing plant, refineries and other green industry businesses.

The Queensland Nickel refinery at Yabulu, near Townsville. The closure of the plant was ‘a massive shock’ to the town. Photograph: Andrew Rankin/AAP

In Queensland politics, “transition” has been a dirty word. Pro-coal politicians like LNP senator Matt Canavan have said transition equates to job destruction. Rightwing media commentators have portrayed comments that miners need to “re-skill” as a kind of ideological warfare, rather than part of a discussion about how communities respond to a real global shift away from fossil fuels.

“It’s the right of the workers in the community not to be destroyed in the process of the transition,” Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, says. “And now the opportunities [from transition] are starting to become tangible and real.”

Sean Cochrane, who runs renewable business SuperGreen Solutions in Townsville, says the conversation had clearly shifted in the city now people could see genuine opportunity from the energy transition.

“A year ago it was all we need coal jobs, we need coal jobs,” Cochrane says.

“There was never another argument, another source of jobs. I don’t think Townsville is the backwater that sometimes people in the south think it is. Townsville has come of age. People are looking for intelligent solutions.”

Joseph O’Brien, the managing director of a Townsville company proposing to build Copperstring 2.0 – a project that would connect the North West Minerals Province to the national energy grid – says there are significant opportunities for the city.

“I believe the real message here is that it’s not about what Townsville shouldn’t do, but what Townsville does as a global leader, and that’s advanced industrial manufacturing and minerals processing,” O’Brien said.

“This pedigree in industrial manufacturing can be an enormous job creator and it’s also an enormous creator of expertise that will be very valuable for the region and for Australia too.

“Townsville is an entrepreneurial and pragmatic place, it doesn’t have the luxury of choosing where it wants to get its jobs from. Regional centres need to play to their strengths and respond to global opportunities and for Townsville the global opportunities make for a very bright future.”

‘You don’t want your city to die’

After Townsville flooded in early 2019, residents in the low-lying suburb of Hermit Park brought out their dead appliances and mud-logged possessions and piled them up at the roadside.

Guardian Australia asked a handful of locals there about climate change. The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, had just called the flooding “unprecedented”. Experts overwhelmingly believe the climate is fuelling more extreme weather events.

“If anyone mentions [climate change] I’ll punch ’em,” a local, Mark Parison, said immediately after the floods.

Residents of Hermit Park cleaning up after floods in 2019.
Residents of Hermit Park cleaning up after floods in 2019. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP

“These people crying about climate change, they’ve got to look at how they live themselves. They’re still driving around in cars, they’re still wearing nice clothes. They’re using mobile phones. So give that up, I’ll start listening to you.

“City people are stalling us. We need the economy here to be boosted.”

So, for several years, has gone much of the debate in Townsville about coal and climate change. Kitchen table concerns come first. Even if your kitchen table is literally floating away.

Elements of that fraught debate remain a reality in north Queensland, even as the opportunities of a green energy future move from concept towards reality. Few are ready to completely eschew the coal industry or its prospects to provide jobs for locals.

“Whilst an eye must certainly be kept on the future, we cannot stop investing and supporting the existing industries that have been the backbone of our nation’s economy for generations,” says Wade Chiesa, the regional development and investment director of Townsville Enterprise.

Chiesa highlights efforts to create new industries, but says north Queensland’s strengths remain “the natural resources sitting in our backyard and our capacity to generate energy”.

“Off the back of 12 months of Covid-19 support measures from state and federal governments, the royalties generated by our mining and resources industry are more important than ever as we claw back from the largest debt we have ever experienced.

“As of early this year, Bravus (Adani) had signed $2.2bn in contracts to build the Carmichael mine and rail project and in under two years since the project was greenlighted by the state government the company has employed more than 2,000 people.

“Now is the time we need sustained jobs to support families, not a time to erase them.”

Hill says the closure of Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery was “a massive shock” to the northern port city, which was Australia’s first “solar city” back in 2007.

“Adani [became] the face of everything because the community desperately needed jobs,” she says.

“You don’t want your city to die. We had 13% unemployment. We have long-term aspirations but there’s a short-term need.

“When you go doorknocking you see people who are barely making ends meet and are desperate for a job that is barely a living wage. Many tourism jobs are low-paying jobs, you can’t go into a bank and get a home loan with some of those jobs. When you’re in the mining sector you can.”

Now, Hill says advanced manufacturing powered by renewables offers another prospect for well-paid work – and that the city will embrace its opportunity.

“The key for me and the council is to show the community that we can get this right in Townsville. We can use renewables to power industry at a far cheaper rate than pulling power off the grid.

“We’re hopeful for long-term jobs for our community.”

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Reserve Road upgrade set to significantly improve safety

Works are
underway on a major upgrade of Reserve Road, in Charlemont.

The upgrade includes include pavement
reconstruction, stabilisation, shoulder widening and drainage upgrades.

The City is delivering the works with funding from the
federal government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.

$500,000 upgrade will greatly improve safety and cater to increased traffic on
Reserve Road, between Barwarre Road and Barwon Heads Road.

upgrade works are already complete, and the next stage of works involving
shoulder removal, reinstatement and widening will begin on Monday 19 April.

The works
will require a temporary road closure for up to six days. Traffic management
will be in place including signage with detours to assist in movement around
the area. Emergency access will be provided, along with local access only.

The third
stage of works, which includes the pavement reconstruction, are scheduled to
commence in the first week of May and is likely to require temporary road

Councillor Anthony Aitken, Chair of the City Works, Parks
and Gardens portfolio acknowledged that while the temporary road closure was an
inconvenience, the works would deliver a much-needed upgrade to Reserve Road.

These works will deliver important safety improvements for
drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on Reserve Road, where there has been an increase
in traffic in recent years.

This project is of one of nine infrastructure projects in
Greater Geelong that received support through the Federal Government’s first
round of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure fund.

We are grateful for the support from the federal government
for these vital projects, and I am excited to see the Reserve Road upgrade now

Users of this road will be thrilled with the completed
works, making for a safer and more convenient commute.

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Road Flooded in New Orleans Amid Heavy Rain

Flooding was seen in New Orleans on the morning of April 15, as the National Weather Service warned drivers in the city to “use caution”. Heavy rain was forecast to continue throughout the day and into April 16. Credit: @thewindizzle via Storyful

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Alleged road rage turns violent on major Sydney road

An altercation between two drivers turned violent during an alleged road rage incident on one of Sydney‘s busiest motorways.
The altercation erupted after the Honda and ute slowed in traffic.
The altercation erupted after the Honda and ute slowed in traffic. (Dash cam Australia/Facebook)
The drivers of the Honda and the ute clashed, with punches thrown.
The drivers of the Honda and the ute clashed, with punches thrown. (Dash cam Australia/Facebook)
The occupants of a third vehicle race across traffic to intervene.
The occupants of a third vehicle race across traffic to intervene. (Dash cam Australia/Facebook)

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Big surf flips boulders across road in Port Fairy, reigniting climate change, coastal erosion concerns

Wild surf has battered Victoria’s south-west coast, sweeping large boulders onto roads and trapping a family on an island off Port Fairy.

Emergency services rescued the family from Griffiths Island on Sunday after large waves and a high tide left them stranded, unable to access the narrow pedestrian walkway that would link them to the mainland.

Port Fairy-based shire councillor Jordan Lockett said the force of the ocean was incredible and roads were strewn with seaweed and large boulders.

Locals reported some rocks had been moved up to 20 or 30 metres from the sea wall, which lined a road along the town’s South Beach precinct.

Cr Lockett said the impact of climate change on the shire’s “vulnerable coastline” would continue and worsen over the years to come.

The Victorian government has already instructed councils to plan for a 0.8-metre sea level rise by 2100.

But updated data released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted sea level rises of up to 1.1m.

Speaking to the ABC last year, coastal geomorphologist David Kennedy from the University of Melbourne said Victorian coastal areas were under threat from changes to swell patterns as a consequence of climate change.

Friends of the Earth climate activist Leigh Ewbank said the “startling” images of displaced boulders at Port Fairy were “a sign of things to come”.

“It raises the question, if this is what Port Fairy is seeing today, how will this community cope with sea level rises of 10, 20 centimetres — let alone a metre of sea level rise,” he said.

Mr Ewbank said other Victorian towns, such as Apollo Bay and Inverloch, had already sounded the alarm about the issue.

“It was only a matter of time before the Port Fairy community started connecting the dots,” he said.

But some Port Fairy locals are already involved in a citizen-science program gathering data about coastal erosion and monitoring changes to the coastline.

The group formed after 4m of coastline was lost to coastal erosion in 2013 and threatened to expose an old rubbish site.

The wild weather over the weekend also impacted local penguin populations.

Tracey Wilson has been running a wildlife centre near Warrnambool and said she rescued three penguins that washed up on nearby beaches.

“The seas down here were absolutely horrendous,” she said.

Ms Wilson is urging anyone who sees a penguin on the beach to contact wildlife rescuers.

“Please don’t ignore a penguin that’s on the beach, if it’s still alive please get it help,” she said.

“If you can approach them, they’re in a lot of trouble and just shouldn’t be there at all.”

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Hampton locals believed to be behind tree poison vandal attack on Beach Road in Melbourne

Locals in a bayside suburb in Melbourne’s southeast looking for a better view of the water are believed to be behind a devastating vandal attack.

Around 26 trees and 120-metres of underbrush along Beach Road on Hampton’s foreshore were poisoned and killed with herbicide.

Bayside City Council Mayor Laurence Evans said they believed the vandals drilled into the trucks to put the poison deep inside the trees and is believed to have been happening over many months.

“They are not community people. They are very selfish and I would say pretty arrogant that they just want their view,” Evans told 7NEWS.

Local resident Graeme Disney said it was a “slap in the face” to the local volunteers and conservation groups who work along the foreshore.

Bayside Council have considered installing CCTV cameras, but the area is too large and does not have enough lighting to see at night.

They are instead urging locals to dob in their neighbours and are offering rewards.

“Keep an eye open,” Evans said.

The vandals face fines of up to $200,000 and a criminal conviction.

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Police appeal for information after an alleged road rage incident leaves man fighting for life

Police are appealing for information after an alleged road rage incident in Sydney’s south-west left a man fighting for his life in hospital and three others injured.

Two groups of men in a Honda Civic and a ute were allegedly involved in an argument at an intersection of Henry Lawson Drive and the Hume Highway at Georges Hall around 10.45pm yesterday.

The ute allegedly then forced the Civic from the road and into bushland, where it rolled onto its roof.

Darren Sly
NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Darren Sly said the incident was “something which our community just cannot stand for”. (9News)
Police are conducting an investigation after several men were seriously injured in a road rage incident in Sydney’s south-west overnight. (Nine)

The Civic driver, a 20-year-old man, and his passenger, a 17-year-old boy, managed to escape the car before being confronted by the second group of men.

The men from the ute then allegedly assaulted the pair, with the Civic driver stabbed in his left leg.

The ute then took off, driving north at high speed before colliding with a motorbike and a silver Toyota Camry.

The driver did not stop and continued travelling north along Henry Lawson Drive.

NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Darren Sly said the incident was “something which our community just cannot stand for”.

“It is dangerous. And that’s why we’re trying to seek systems of the public today to try and locate these men, and in particular the vehicle as well,” Mr Sly said.

The 24-year-old motorcyclist is now fighting for life after being taken to Liverpool Hospital in a critical condition.

The road rage incident and alleged assault occurred on Henry Lawson Drive in Georges Hall. (Nine)

The male driver of the Toyota was also taken to hospital with chest injuries, along with the driver of the Honda – who remains in a serious but stable condition – after being stabbed.

The teenage passenger from the Honda was treated by paramedics at the scene for minor injuries.

“I actually just saw flashing lights through the blinds. I thought ‘I wonder what’s going on’. My wife said, ‘I think there’s roadworks going on’,” witness Frank Abel said.

“And I thought ‘not with all the police cars there’.”

Henry Lawson Drive between Flinders Road and Tower Road was closed this morning as police examined the scene.

It took authorities about six hours to clear debris from the incident.

Police have appealed for public assistance to identify the men who may be able to assist with their investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident, or has dashcam footage, is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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From empty streets to community prosperity: How the Hazara community changed Adelaide’s Prospect Road

Empty streets, closed shops, and broken glass on pavements — that’s what Hanif Rahimi recalls of Prospect Road, in the inner northern suburbs of Adelaide, just two decades ago.

He’d just arrived in South Australia with his family, and what’s now been called Little Afghanistan was far from anything he thought possible.

“After, let’s say, six, seven o’clock in the evening, not many people were walking on the streets because they were scared. It wasn’t safe,” Mr Rahimi told the ABC.

“This area was completely empty. The shops were completely empty.”

Mr Rahimi was among a number of Hazara refugees who would soon call Adelaide home, a community that’s now among the state’s largest non-English speaking communities.

But the Prospect Road of the early noughties has changed, as has the Port Adelaide Enfield local government area.

“Since the new people from the Middle East, from Afghanistan, the Hazara people, they move in. They slowly changed everything,” Mr Rahimi said.

Photo: Hanif KSM proxy
Hanif Rahimi credits the transformation of Prospect Road to the migration of Hazara refugees in Adelaide.(



A new report by South Australia University has found Hazara refugees from Afghanistan have revitalized the once declining LGA into a “thriving, multicultural, dynamic hub.”

The report said the Hazara were among the most persecuted and marginalised ethnic groups in the world. In 2018, they were the second biggest group of refugees with 2.7 million fleeing parts of Iran and Pakistan.

David Radford, who led the research, says the tropes of the “exceptional refugee” was being challenged by this community in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. The community has been strengthened not by the achievements of one individual but rather a range of people.

“They either think, poor refugees, we have to be giving them so many things to support them. Or we also, on the other hand, we tend to eulogise or speak up these kinds of hero refugees who have done extraordinary things,” Dr Radford said speaking on the generalisations surrounding refugees.

But what he said his research brought out is that those who were from a refugee or humanitarian background just wanted to be part of the community, like anyone else.

“And given the opportunity, they do in everyday ways. That’s partly what builds social cohesion for us, as an Australian community made up of lots of different communities,” he said.

“Ultimately they Hazara [community in Adelaide] don’t see themselves forever as refugees.

“That kind of label can also stick.”

Community sports triumphs

Dr Radford’s research has noted the importance of community sports run by members of the Hazara community in Adelaide as a key factor of bridging gaps between different communities.

“Sports is another really interesting area and there’s a quite prominent football club called the Ghan Kilburn City football club,” Dr Radford said.

“It’s not a team made not just of Hazara [people] but a number of different communities especially from African backgrounds but others as well.”

For Ghan Kilburn City football club, the origins lie in 2008.

Rahim Shah Zaidi, the club’s founder, was playing with a group of Afghan community teams in one of South Australia’s lower amateur divisions.

He recalled that after years of informal kick arounds, a number of players on his team suggested they formalise and create what now is Ghan Kilburn City football club.

“So the guys told me why not start new teams,” Mr Zaidi told the ABC.

He took the suggestion and ran with it. The club played their games at secondary school in the local area but after a conversation in late 2014 with the chairman of Kilburn City footy club a groundshare was on the cards.

“They told me, Rahim why not join us here,” he said.

Photo: Rahim proxy
Rahim Shah Zaidi is hoping to create a lasting legacy for Ghan Kilburn City football club.(

Credit: Instagram


Mr Zaidi said he was proud of the community, and the club he founded. He started with 22 players, a senior and reserve team but now has over 150 players signed up.

“We got under-eights, under 15s, under 16s and a Hazara women’s team,” he said.

The plan for Ghan Kilburn City football club is to grow once more, Mr Zaidi wants to join the South Australian football federation to give more opportunities for aspiring players in his community.

“There are just all of these kinds of small and bigger ways that [the Hazara community] are making an impact,” Dr Radford said.

Recognising the impact of the Hazara community

Carol Martin is a local council representative in the LGA, she believes the Prospect Road precinct’s economic success has been driven “predominately” by the Afghan community.

“They’re really unsung heroes in a grand way,” Cr Martin said.

One of those community heroes for Cr Martin is Hanif Rahimi, who now runs the local IGA.

When the Coles on Prospect Road moved to the shopping centre in Kilburn in 2016, he extended his supermarket which catered to the local Middle Eastern, Afghan and Pakistani communities to partner with IGA.

The move was significant for Cr Martin, who says without it would have left those in the area, particularly the elderly, who walked to their local supermarket without easy access to their essential shopping list items like milk and bread.

“He gave us both. He helped integrate any prejudice by opening the supermarket,” she said.

Photo: Carol Martin proxy
Councillor Carol Martin alongside Hanif Rahimi’s daughter Frestha and his wife Kamela.(



Mr Rahimi is proud of the store he’s been able to create on Prospect Road.

He believes the store is unique in that it carries products specific to local ethnic communities but also any products found in general supermarkets in Australia, all in the one shop.

“It’s a very good experience because both communities are happy,” he said.

“Muslim people going to buy a meat and all those necessary foods from Middle Eastern culture or background and all those products, which is normally they go into other supermarket.”

Cr Martins says the overall impact has seen people across the state flock to Prospect Road precinct to try the Afghan restaurants.

“We’re not going overseas, but the world’s come to us,” she said.

The transformation fills Mr Rahimi with joy. He said it was a drastic change from the experiences the first Hazara business had in Prospect Road back in 2006.

“His window was broken three times a month so it wasn’t so easy to run a shop,” he said.

He credits the shift to the support the Hazara community has received by the local council and the investment in the area.

It’s what’s made Prospect Road “quite the destination”, which is a departure from those early days of broken windows and empty shop fronts.

“The street is light and bright, shops are open to doing business, a lot of people are employed, people are enjoying the Afghan restaurants around that area on Prospect Road,” Mr Rahimi said.

“If you want to have a little shop over there, you cannot find a space.”

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Biden Offers Johnson New Tack on China’s ‘Belt & Road’ Project, Suggests Rival Initiative

US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on the phone on Friday afternoon to discuss international challenges, such as their policies towards Iran and China, as well as the environment and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

US President Joe Biden has proposed that democratic countries form an infrastructure plan to rival China’s ambitious Belt and Road (OBOR) initiative while conversing on the phone with his UK counterpart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Friday.

“I suggested we should have, essentially, a similar initiative, pulling from the democratic states, helping those communities around the world that, in fact, need help,” Biden told reporters.

The two leaders had spoken to discuss their countries’ respective policies regarding Iran and China, as well as ongoing global COVID-19 vaccine rollout and tackling climate change as a key part of “building back better from the pandemic”.

“They talked about shared international challenges. The leaders agreed on the need for Iran to come back into compliance with the nuclear deal. On China, the prime minister and president reflected on the significant action taken by the UK, US and other international partners earlier this week to impose sanctions on human rights violators in Xinjiang and expressed their concern about retaliatory taken action by China,” a Downing Street spokesperson said, quoted by Reuters.

US-China Rivalry

Joe Biden’s proposal comes as on Thursday he vowed to thwart China’s attempts to outpace the United States and prevail as the most powerful country in the world.

“China has an overall goal … to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world… That’s not going to happen on my watch because the United States is going to continue to grow,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday, during his first press conference since his swearing-in ceremony.

​Amid the spiraling rivalry between the two global heavyweights, Biden indicated plans to unveil a multi-trillion-dollar plan to upgrade US infrastructure next week, with emphasis on promising new technologies, such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

Joe Biden also made reference to “hours upon hours” of interaction with China’s President Xi Jinping when he served as vice president under former President Barack Obama. Biden tore into the Chinese president, saying:

“He (Xi) doesn’t have a democratic – with a small ‘d’ – bone in his body, but he’s a smart, smart guy.”

Biden’s remarks fall in line with contentious public statements made days earlier during the first high-level, in-person talks between US and Chinese officials under his administration in Alaska.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (2nd L), China’s State Councilor Wang and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021.

The Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the time that the US would “discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies”.

Earlier, during their first phone call in February, US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke about a range of topics, including “the shared challenges of global health security, climate change, and preventing weapons proliferation”, according to a White House release on their talks.

At the time, the POTUS referred to China as America’s “most serious competitor” while expressingd a desire to “work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest to do so”.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Washington-Beijing tensions escalated under the Donald Trump administration as the two sides found themselves embroiled in a trade spat, slapping duties on each other’s goods.

Washington additionally targeted Chinese tech giants, including Huawei, accusing Beijing of an espionage campaign without offering any proof to substantiate the claims. The allegations have been dismissed by China.
China was also lambasted for ostensibly lack of transparency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, something that Beijing has also rejected vehemently.

REUTERS / Wu Hong/Pool

A view shows guests listen while Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017

One of China’s most ambitious projects – its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – has been a thorn in the US administration’s side.

The multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping and presupposing development and investment initiatives stretching from East Asia to Europe, has already drawn over 100 countries into its fold.

Agreements have been signed with Beijing to cooperate in BRI projects to build railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.

As of mid-last year, over 2,600 projects estimated to cost around $3.7 trillion were linked to the initiative, according to a Refinitiv database.

While seen as potentially boosting China’s economic and political clout, the project has raised concerns in the United States, with Washington seeking to encourage private sector investment for overseas projects to rival those of the BRI.

However, the US administration has, to date, fallen short of blueprinting a viable alternative to the state-backed global infrastructure development strategy put forward by Beijing.

Images of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump

The Trump administration denounced the project as “predatory” in its 2018 National Defense Strategy, and alleged it was a manifestation of “debt trap diplomacy.”

After Italy joined OBOR, as the initiative is also called, in March 2019, the US National Security Council tweeted that endorsing BRI ‘lends legitimacy to China’s predatory approach to investment’.

​Nevertheless, between 2017 and 2019, over a dozen Latin American countries and ten Caribbean nations joined OBOR, with nearly all NATO member states in Eastern and Southern Europe having associated with the project, writes Fortune.

​As part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing launched the Digital Silk Road (DSR) of undersea cables, data centers, and 5G telecommunications systems in 2015, with a ‘Polar Silk Road’ seeking to link China to the Arctic and Antarctic outlined as part of its new 2021-2025 “five-year plan” published in early March and quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese government has maintained its steadfast insistence that the BRI is purely a peaceful, “win-win” development initiative.

We hope you enjoyed reading this news article involving Russian news called “Biden Offers Johnson New Tack on China’s ‘Belt & Road’ Project, Suggests Rival Initiative”. This news update was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

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Boggo Road Gaol (Jail)

School Holiday Experiences

Do something different these Easter school holidays with one of the fascinating experiences and tours on offer at historic Boggo Road Gaol (Jail).

Suitable for the whole family, including teenagers, there are 4 different experiences available, ranging from 1.5 to 2 hour guided tours. New features include over 30 visual displays including historical images, extra information and digital interactions.

History Tour – Step through the giant gates and hear all about the 116 year history of the gaol, the daily lives of the prisoners and the duties of its officers on this intriguing tour. You will also learn about the legendary Slim Halliday, Tripod the three legged cat, the rooftop protests and the hunger strikes. Walk through the Circle, the Gatehouse, the yards and the original cell blocks and cells. You will even get to step inside the cells and see the original graffiti on the walls dating back to the 1980s. Suitable for all ages. Daily @ 11am – 12:30pm

Escapes Tour – See where the first gaol-breakers went over the wall, and learn how the Houdini of Boggo Road, Slim Halliday, managed to escape No.2 Division, not once, but twice. You may have read about Slim in Trent Dalton’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe.’ You’ll get to walk throughout the gaol and stand at the exact spots that several inmates escaped. Suitable for all ages. Sunday 11 April @ 11am – 12:30pm

Thanks for dropping by and checking out this news article regarding “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” called “Boggo Road Gaol (Jail)
“. This news article was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national events & what’s on news services.

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