Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, central Queensland is a long way from receiving all of the approvals it needs before it will be ready to break ground.
One of the key hurdles Adani needs to overcome is to have their management plan for the tiny Black Throated Finch (BTF) approved by the Queensland government.
Unfortunately for Adani and the BTF a substantial amount of the finch’s remaining habitat resides within the 28 000 hectare footprint of the Carmichael Mine.
Scientists estimate that there is approximately 1500 finches left. A population of about 500 finches survives near Townsville and about 1000 birds are thought to remain in the Moray Downs area which Adani has staked out to build there mega mine. Adani’s own environmental impact statement says that the mine will destroy large swathes of critical BTF habitat.
Adani have a plan to avert extinction of the BTF which involves land offsets that can be best described as buying nearby land that will supposedly be protected for the BTF to have a sanctuary to flee to when the mine begins operations.
The offset land that Adani has acquired is degraded habitat that already would have a population of BTF’s if it were suitable. Birds migrating to the offset land would have to compete with any BTF populations already in the area and are unlikely to survive relocation.
However all of this may be a moot point as much of the offset land purchased by Adani is located right in the middle of Clive Palmer’s proposed Alpha North mega mine and Adani’s BTF offsets will all be destroyed if Clive is ever able to get his mine off the ground.
The Queensland government have appointed an independent body to review Adani’s BTF management plan so the outcome for this beautiful little species remains uncertain.