Our Water Our Lifeblood

Every which way you look at it - water is life. Every cell of every thing needs water. 

In Queensland we experience water in every form, from the very wet to the very dry but wherever you are, water is life. However, in the twists and turns of the Stop Adani campaign the issue of water is sometimes forgotten. 

Our water is our lifeblood in Queensland and that's why so many people are calling on the cancellation of Adani's water licences. 

Adani's Carmichael mine will drain at least 270 billion litres of groundwater over the life of the mine - that's four Sydney Harbours! Lock the Gate brought water management expert Tom Crothers to Mackay to explain the impacts that the mine could have on not only local landholders in the Galilee Basin, but to all those who rely on the Great Artesian Basin. 

The drain on Qld water resources is just the beginning. The really concerning part is the lack of research that has been conducted to estimate the likelihood of damage to aquifers, sediment layers and neighbouring springs and therefore the impacts on water resources that regional communities desperately rely on in times of drought. 

That's why a Motion of intent was passed by the crowd, calling on the Qld Government to cancel Adani's Water licence, so that precious regional water resources are protected. 

You can also sign the pledge which will be sent to Premier Palaszczuk and other ministers.

Keep reading to find out more about how Adani's mine threatens Qld's vital water resources.

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We oughta be worried about our water

World Water Day is a day to celebrate a truly precious resource and a day to learn more about how we can protect it. 

This year the group focused on groundwater and in particular the potential impacts of opening up the Galilee Basin to mining. 

Just this week a study was released with information suggesting that Adani's Carmichael mine could threaten the existence of the ecologically and culturally significant Doongmabulla Springs. 

Read more about the report here.

The springs are home to a number of endemic species, that would face extinction if the springs were sucked dry. 

A group of dedicated volunteers waded deep into Adani's murky water licence and the predicted threats to groundwater on World Water Day and will take this information to the wider community. Read on for access to some great information resources. 

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Sign the pledge to cancel Adani's Water Licence

The Adani coal mine puts at risk water resources that are the lifeblood of Central Queensland.

Don’t stand by and watch Adani rob us of life-giving water.

Sign the pledge to the Queensland Premier, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Minister for Environment.

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Can the ALP oppose Adani and still win seats in regional Qld?

Veteran journalist, Dennis Atkins, wrote in the Courier Mail recently that Bill Shorten's equivocation on Adani could cost his party the next election. He says that there's no doubt that Adani is unpopular with voters and that "even some people in northern Queensland don’t like it." 

A few months ago a dedicated group of volunteers surveyed people at local supermarkets to find out what Mackay residents thought about Adani. More than a few of us were surprised when the results came in. It wasn't a few people who don't like Adani. We found, after interviewing a statistically valid sample of around 250 residents, that:

  • 77.2% opposed the NAIF loan for Adani
  • 86.2% opposed unlimited water licences for Adani
  • 85.4% opposed a royalties holiday for Adani

Another number that came out of the survey was in response to the question “Do you support or oppose new coal mines in Qld?” You would think that in a 'coal town' the number who support new coal mines would be high but we found that only 41.2% support new mines opening. Public opinion up here is not as clear cut as people in Canberra think.

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What will this Mighty Force do next?

Stop_Adani_Batman_Crew.jpgLast week we premiered the brand new #StopAdani documentary A Mighty Force. With a combined membership of around two million people, the movement to stop Adani's unbankable mine will continue to grow and shift the politics on coal. 

The screening was made extra special, with local cane grower Michelle Ready who features in the film, explaining to the audience why she is so passionate about Stopping Adani. Her and her husband Viv work on their Finch Hatton cane farm that has been in the family for 60 years. Like majority of farmers in Queensland, they rely on groundwater resources to nourish their property, and they are concerned about the irreversible impacts that Adani's mine could have on Queensland's groundwater. 
It was a great turnout of locals, energised to up the ante on Mackay's campaign to stop Adani. If you want to learn more and get involved, come along to the next Stop Adani meeting or to the Finch Hatton screening of A Mighty Force.
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Adani's drain on Farmers

At the Mackay premiere of the Stop Adani documentary, A Mighty Force, local cane grower Michelle Ready explained to locals why she is so passionate about stopping Adani's mega-mine. 

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My name’s Michelle and I’m a farmer’s wife.  I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve taken time to do the research and have spoken with many, better informed people, including farmers who are at the coal face, so to speak.  The farm we’re on has been in my husband’s family around 60 years, and we wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the groundwater.  It provides all our domestic needs.  On the farming side however, we’re lucky to have limited access to the creek, when the rains fail to come.

But there are farmers who aren’t as lucky as us, whose only reliable source is groundwater from the Galilee Basin, part of the Great Artesian Basin.  Out there, at the Carmichael mine site, groundwater is everything, and it absolutely defies belief that our elected officials have decided to give it away, free and unlimited amounts of it, to a company with the most atrocious history of environmental degradation.

Coal mines require enormous amounts of water.  I remember years ago hearing that wars would be fought over water, and I thought at the time, “no way there’s so much water, what’s the problem”.  I was wrong.  Farmers are the first to feel the effects of drought, and climate change, yet eventually everyone will.  Look at Cape Town. Broken Hill.

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#StopAdani - A Mighty Force!

#StopAdani: A Mighty Force reveals an unstoppable movement for change in action.

Book your ticket now.

This 30-minute documentary captures the power and passion of people taking extraordinary action to stop Adani from building one of the biggest coal mines in the world, on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef.Square_Michelle.png

From remote central Queensland where the mine is proposed to be built, to rallies in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney, this David and Goliath battle is one of the most determined and focused campaigns in Australia’s recent history.

Come and find out why so many people all over Australia, and right here in Mackay, are speaking out against Adani's unbankable mine! 

Guest speaker and Mackay Cane Grower, Michelle Ready, features in the film and works to raise awareness of the importance of stopping Adani from draining precious water resources.  

The film launches with the People’s Premiere in communities across Australia on Thursday 22 February - don't miss out on this huge local premiere!

  • WHEN: Thursday 22nd Feb - 6:30pm
  • WHERE: Mackay City Cinema, Gordon St Mackay. 
  • COST: $10 - including entry and a complimentary drink or pay at the door for $15 (cash only).
  • Book your ticket now. 
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Media Release: Adani accused of doctoring Abbot Point results

MEDIA RELEASE - 2 February 2018

Adani falsifies Abbot Point wetlands pollution lab results

Revelations Adani corrupted pollution evidence as part of $12K fine appeal   
Stop Adani Alliance poll shows 3/4 of Qlders think Adani should drop its appeal and pay fine

On International Wetlands Day, findings uncovered by the Queensland Environment Department that Adani doctored laboratory reports of coal-laden polluted water spilt during Cyclone Debbie from Abbot Point Port shows yet again why governments should block Adani’s project, says the Stop Adani Alliance (Guardian Australia today: “Suspicions Adani altered lab report while appealing fine for Abbot Point coal spill”).

As part of court proceedings by Adani challenging the $12,900 fine imposed by the Environment Department for polluting Abbot Point during Cyclone Debbie, it has been revealed that the company falsified laboratory reports by leaving off results submitted earlier.

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, who visited Abbot Point with department officials in April 2017 to inspect the pollution said, “If Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is looking for one more reason why the Adani mine does not stack up then here it is.”

Adani Group companies have a well-documented record of environmental destruction and prosecutions overseas, including illegal dealings, bribery, environmental and social devastation and allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering.

“On International Wetlands Day this shows once again why Adani can’t be trusted with the sensitive Caley Valley Wetlands, our precious natural environment, or our Reef. These new revelations show they also can’t be trusted with scientific evidence.

“Queenslanders are understandably concerned that Adani is even challenging this puny fine. A Stop Adani Alliance ReachTEL poll of residents across Queensland, conducted in October 2017, found three quarters thought that Adani should drop the court action and pay the fine”.

The ReachTel poll of 1,652 Qld residents conducted on the night of 24th October 2017 is below. (Full poll can be provided on request.)

Adani admitted to the Queensland Department of Environment that it released more than eight times its licensed concentration of pollution in March 2017.

For further information and interviews: Peter McCallum 0402 966 560

Mackay Conservation Group, a member of the Stop Adani Alliance, is a volunteer based organisation established in 1983 that works to protect Central Queensland’s environment www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au

ReachTel Poll Question:

Adani has been fined $12,900 by the Queensland Department of the Environment for polluting the Reef coast with coal during Cyclone Debbie from the Abbot Point Port terminal it operates. Adani is now contesting the fine in court.

Should Adani drop the court action and pay the fine?

 

 
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More to do to #StopAdani

#StopAdani is undeniably a hugely powerful movement. 

At the end of 2017, the wins were coming thick and fast; 

  • The Queensland Labor government retained power, with huge influence coming from the promise of vetoing the $1billion taxpayer loan to Adani.
  • They held their promise and blocked the loan. 
  • Four Chinese banks, some of the biggest banks in the world, plus the Chinese embassy, refused to support Adani.
  • Downer, who was contracted to build Adani's mine, walked away. 

All of these wins happened because our movement has grown so strong. 

But - it's not over yet. 

Adani is looking down the barrel of a huge stranded asset, so will do everything it can to push the Carmichael mine ahead. 

The mine proposal is Adani's best chance of replacing its current coal-handling contracts, which are set to finish up in the next five years. Without ongoing contracts, Adani's Abbot Point coal port will be in real trouble. 

There is also the possibility of Aurizon building an alternative rail line that could service the Carmichael mine and the rest of the Galilee Basin. 

Adani is not done yet - and neither are we. 

Already this year we have seen the price of renewable energy in India become cheaper than coal-powered energy, with minsters and leaders in India committing to rapidly reducing use of coal-power

India was set to start the next coal boom - and instead we're seeing the country emerge as a renewable energy powerhouse. 

With the vast majority of countries signing onto the Paris Agreement, we're seeing the fossil fuel industry declining. In the near future, there will be no market for the thermal coal that Adani so desperately wants, and Australia will have to deal with the mess left behind. 

Mackay suffers when it puts all of its eggs in one [mining] industry's basket. Time and time again we hear pleas from the community for a diversification of our region's economy, so that we rely on highly fluctuating industries. Coal is coming to an end - and Adani is not the answer for Mackay. 

That's why this year it is so important that we continue to grow and strengthen our movement. 

Let's work together to strengthen regional Queensland for generations to come. 

We can't stop (and we won't stop) until we #StopAdani forever.

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Read more from Market Forces and the #StopAdani Alliance

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Media Release: Report finds Adani polluted sensitive wetlands

33962498356_dd790646b7_z.jpgMackay Conservation Group says a new Queensland Government report confirms Adani’s coal terminal has polluted the nationally significant Caley Valley wetlands during Cyclone Debbie and shows the company cannot be trusted to operate a mine, rail and port operation in Queensland.

A report commissioned by the Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP), which relied on samples taken four weeks after the cyclone, has found up to 10 per cent of sediment in the wetlands near Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal was actually coal that the company allowed to leave its site. This follows Adani being fined $12,900 for polluting the Reef coast. Adani is currently challenging the fine in court.

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, who visited the contamination site at the invitation of DEHP to observe the contamination first hand, said “It was clear to me that there was coal everywhere we looked when we visited the site a month after Cyclone Debbie. This report confirms those observations and makes clear that Adani is not fit to operate a massive coal project in Queensland,” Mr McCallum said.

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