Lock the Gate says a decision by the Federal Environment Minister yesterday to allow Adani to take 12.5 billion litres of river water without any assessment of its water impacts is an appalling and dangerous move at a time of severe drought.
The Minister has made a decision not to apply the water trigger under federal environment laws to Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme project, despite it planning to take 12.5 billion litres of water each year and pipe it 110km to run the Carmichael coal mine.
Furthermore, whilst acknowledging the risks of the project to threatened species, the Minister is not requiring a full Environment Impact Assessment of the impacts, but is allowing Adani to conduct an inadequate review based on existing information.
“This is another special deal for Adani that puts our water resources at risk during a terrible drought and hangs Queensland graziers and communities out to dry,” said Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance.
“The Minister has ignored the federal water trigger which exists specifically to address the impacts of mining on our precious water resources.
“We have no doubt this has been rushed through to enable Adani to push ahead with its mine, even though we simply don’t know what the impacts on our river systems will be.
“In the past, water pipelines a tiny fraction the size of the Adani pipeline have been forced to conduct full environmental impact assessments, so letting Adani off without doing the research needed is an absolute disgrace,” Ms Flint said.
Central Queensland grazier Bruce Currie said “This decision is a slap in the face to our communities after allegations just last week that Adani has illegally drilled dewatering bores.
“Adani should not be getting fast-tracked by the Federal Minister while there is a huge legal cloud hanging over their conduct.
“We have consistently said that the coal mining industry should not be allowed to put agricultural businesses under threat and destroy regional towns and communities.
“The combined impacts of the Adani mine on groundwater and now river water poses a massive risk to our region.
“Water is the basis of life, and risking it all for a declining dirty industry that has no future makes no sense at all” he said.