A bizarre bureaucratic claim is stifling the public’s ability to learn more about what went on behind closed doors in the lead up to Adani being granted its water licence by the Federal Government.
Lock the Gate Alliance lodged Freedom of Information requests* in April this year attempting to learn whether other ministers pressured then Environment Minister Melissa Price to approve the plan the day before the Federal Election was called.
The Alliance has since been told that because the role of Environment Minister has changed hands, those internal communications are no longer available and can’t be tracked down.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Carmel Flint said the Federal Government’s claims that it couldn’t make the communication publicly available was an insult to the public’s right to know.
“This dubious interpretation of Freedom of Information law means that a new minister can entirely wipe the slate clean and prevent any public disclosure of relevant documents, even those requested under the previous minister,” she said.
“If anything, this suggests there is more the government is hiding from the public in relation to the granting of the Water Management Plan to Adani.
“This is part of a wider pattern of Federal and State Governments obfuscating when it comes to mining projects like Adani that put our precious water resources at risk.
“Multinational mining giants have our democracy in a vice like grip, and the public should be appalled that so much is being hidden from us.”