Lock the Gate Alliance has warned the Federal Government against back flipping on its commitment to undertake a water assessment of Clive Palmer’s China First mine, as the Guardian reports the company is lobbying to ensure the new “water trigger” is not applied to the project.
The China First project would be one of the first projects to be assessed under the ‘water trigger’, which gives the federal government responsibility to ensure the protection of water resources from large coal mines and CSG projects.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson for Central Queensland, Ellie Smith, said they had welcomed the application of the water trigger to this project and would strongly condemn a change to that listing.
“It is no wonder that Waratah are trying to avoid having the water trigger applied to them: they must be worried the federal government might actually say no to the mine, given the intense and long-lasting impacts this mine will have on groundwater." Said Ms Smith
“The commonwealth EIS states that the two open cut pits and four underground mines that would make up this huge ‘mega’ mine complex are predicted to extract an average of 25.7 billion litres of water from local aquifers every year for 35 years.”
Local graziers will see water levels in their bores drop at least and metre according to the commonwealth EIS, but the Waratah coal document also admits that the full predicted impact has not yet been assessed.
“It is clear from a number of assessments that have been conducted in the region that modelling and predictions of groundwater impacts need far more information in order to be useful.
“The Independent Expert Scientific Committee has recommended time and again that a regional assessment be undertaken."
"This mine is a test of the new Government's commitment to protecting water resources from large-scale coal mining. Landholders around the country will be watching to make sure the Minister orders a cumulative impacts of mining on water resources in the Galilee Basin and to see whether he has the backbone to say “no” to projects that will have unacceptable impacts on water resources"
“If Clive Palmer thinks that his new position of power in the Australian parliament sets his projects above the law, he should think again.”
China First CEIS documents can be found here: http://www.waratahcoal.com/publications.htm
Lock the Gate alliance recently commissioned a report into the cumulative impacts of mines in the Galilee Basin. Download it here: http://www.lockthegate.org.au/draining_the_lifeblood
Take action: Write to Minister Hunt here: https://lockthegate.good.do/mr-hunt-protect-our-water-resources/