Cricket legends Ian, Greg Chappell ask Adani to quit coal mine project in Australia

The Australian cricket legends Ian and Greg Chappell are among the other prominent Australians who have written to Indian energy giant Adani to quit its controversial coal mine project in Australia's Queensland.

The legends of cricket, Ian and Greg Chappell among other prominent Australians have written to Indian energy giant Adani to quit its controversial coal mine project in Australia's Queensland.

In a letter, the Australians also warned that not stepping back from the project would damage the bilateral ties and even hit sporting links between the two nations.

The 21.7 billion dollar Carmichael coal mine project would be starting its construction this year after being given the green light by the federal and Queensland state governments.

The project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which would then be disposed off on land.

Citing risks to miners' health and a huge negative impact on the climate change and on the fragile Great Barrier Reef, an open letter has been written to Adani group's chairman, Gautam Adani.

The letter calls on Adani to invest in renewables instead, and concludes that it would be a "great shame" were the mine to "damage the image of India in Australia".

Besides the former Australian Test cricket captains, authors Richard Flanagan and Tim Winton, Telstra chair John Mullen and investment banker Mark Burrows have also signed the letter.

The letter is expected to be delivered to Adani's Gujarat headquarters by an Australian community delegation currently visiting India.

The letter said, "We are writing to respectfully ask you to abandon the Adani Group's proposal in Queensland s Galilee Basin...Pollution from burning coal was the single biggest driver of global warming, threatening life in Australia, India and all over the world."

"Last month The Lancet, one of the world's leading medical journals, published a report that described your company's Carmichael mine proposal as a public health disaster...this mine proposal does not have wide public support in Australia and does not have the support of the Traditional Owners of the land where the mine would be dug.

"There are concerns about the impact the mine will have on groundwater resources and on nearby farmers who rely on this water for their livelihoods," it noted.

"We urge you to think about global warming and public health and listen to the wishes of the people. It would be a great shame if this one project were to damage the image of India in Australia.

"We understand the Adani Group has not made a final investment decision on the Carmichael coal mine. We strongly urge you to decide to abandon this project.

"We the undersigned and we believe all Australians would support and welcome moves by your company to invest further in renewable energy in Australia," the open letter said.

However, as the Guardian reported, this move has been slammed by federal government MP George Christensen, who alleged the signatories as "elitist wankers" trying to snatch away the job opportunities for struggling regional Queenslanders.

Christensen said in a statement: "Styling themselves as 'prominent Australians', these elitist wankers include investment bankers, CEOs of major corporations such as Telstra, pretentious literati, professional activists and has-been celebrities.