Adani dodges responsibility for fixing Abbot Point Port
Adani should start engineering works on its Abbot Point port facility to ensure no repeat incidents of pollution of the Great Barrier Reef coast, not fight a $12,000 fine for a breach the company itself reported to the Queensland Environment Department, says the Mackay Conservation Group (“Adani denies stormwater breach”, Townsville Bulletin, today).
Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, who visited Abbot Point with department officials in April to inspect the pollution said, “It’s a bit rich of Adani to claim it has been singled out by the Queensland Government given all the special treatment they have received.
“The Queensland government has granted Adani free, unlimited water, it has amended water laws to stop objections by farmers and granted Adani a secret royalties deal. For Adani to cry ‘poor me’ really beggars belief.
“The reality is that Adani is being given privileged treatment by the Queensland government, a prime example being this puny $12,000 slap on the wrist.
“Adani admitted to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection that it released more than eight times its licenced concentration of pollution in March.
“Rather than considering challenging the measly $12,000 fine for polluting the Great Barrier Reef coast Adani should begin work immediately to secure its coal terminal from storms and cyclones to avoid repeat pollution of the Reef coast and the Caley Valley Wetlands.
“The Department handed Adani a license to pollute before Cyclone Debbie hit which placed no limit on the volume of polluted water Adani could let flow into the wetlands.
“A day later this license was retrospectively amended to protect Adani from liability for releasing coal polluted water at several other locations including the sea.
“It took over a week for the Department of the Environment to begin even the most basic survey and five months later we still have no report on the pollution of the Caley Valley wetlands.
“I visited the site with Department officials, a good month after the Cyclone, and it was clear there was still coal present in the Caley Valley wetlands. We saw sediments which appear to be laden with coal within the wetlands adjacent to Adani’s storm water system outlet.
“Adani’s environmental record overseas, and this incident, shows it can’t be trusted to construct a new coal terminal, build a massive coal mine or ship its coal out through the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr McCallum said.
Mackay Conservation Group exposed aerial photography of Adani’s pollution of the Caley Valley wetlands in April which led to the company admitting to releasing 806mg/L of coal and other pollutants from its port at Abbot Point.
For further information or interviews, please contact: Peter McCallum 0402 966 560
Mackay Conservation Group is a volunteer based organisation that was established in 1983 and works to protect Central Queensland’s environment www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au