Feds waive through Adani's water scheme.

Federal Government approves Adani water project.

The federal government has approved the North Galilee Water Scheme for the second time in 12 months. The first approval was overturned after a court ruled that the federal environment minister’s office had not properly assessed hundreds of submissions.

The approval will grant the Adani corporation access to up to 12.5 billion litres per year from the Suttor River in central Queensland. This decision makes a mockery of federal environment laws meant to protect rural communities, farmers and the environment”.

The Federal Government has chosen to not apply the water trigger to Adani’s Water project which means there will not be a rigorous assessment of the environmental impacts of the project. Adani will only have to provide "preliminary documents".

Adani has already been fined for polluting coastal wetlands and now they will be allowed to drain billions of litres of precious river water without a proper environmental assessment. Adani can not be trusted to manage our most valuable water resources.

This is yet another free-kick for Adani who have already been gifted an unlimited 60-year groundwater licence and is currently in negotiations for a royalty holiday that is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The water trigger was put in place for exactly this type of project. The government is failing to follow the safeguards that were put in place to protect rural communities, farmers and the environment from water-guzzling coal mining projects.

Our region is in critical drought and the federal government have chosen to grant the Adani coal mine access to billions of litres of precious river water. Adani’s single coal mine has a licence to extract more water from the Suttor River every year than the 122,000 residents of the city of Mackay use annually.

Michael Kane

michael@mackayconservationgroup.org.au

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Adani's $700 million royalty holiday

Media Release 25/11/2019

Queensland government and Adani royalties deal deadline fast approaching.

On Monday the  Mackay Conservation Group handed a petition with more than 1200 signatures to  Mackay state MP Julieanne Gilbert calling on the Queensland government to keep their election promise not to use public money to fund Adani’s mega coal mine in central Queensland. 

The Queensland government are currently in negotiations to gift the Adani mine a royalty-free holiday that would allow Adani to defer royalty payments to Queensland for up to 10 years. Assuming the mine ever become profitable. 

The Mackay conservation group have gathered the petitions from our support in central Queensland and around the country because we are concerned that the Queensland government are on the cusp of subsidising Adani’s Carmichael mine to the tune of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The agreed deadline for the negotiations is the 30th of November though taxpayers may never know the terms of any agreement as both parties have remained secretive about the talks, citing commercial in confidence.

The previous deadline for negotiations of 30th of September passed without an agreement or an explanation from Adani or the Government  but spokesperson for the Mackay Conservation Group Mr Michael Kane said  that Adani Australia are so heavily in debt that the company  may not have any  assets or cash reserves that the Queensland government could accept as collateral for such a  massive loan.

“We  know that the government is  considering a deal that could effectively save or delay Adani paying  up to $700 million in royalties.''  Said Mr Kane. “In the last state election, the premier promised that no government funding would be given to Adani and that the  Carmichael mine must stack up financially.”

“Any royalty holiday for Adani would  break that promise and would amount to an enormous  government subsidy or taxpayer-funded loan.”

“Australia’s mineral resources belong to all of us and royalties are the price that every mining company has to pay so that Australian receive a fair return for our non-renewable resources. Why should Adani get special treatment when every other mining company in Australia have to pay their fair share.”

“The Queensland government has already done far  too much to support a project that will contribute to the destruction of the Reef and guzzle up to a trillion litres of the ground and river water over the life of the mine.” 

“Significant questions have been raised by financial experts about Adani Australia’s financial position. Adani Australia is currently carrying billions of dollars in debt and hasn’t paid any real taxes in Australia since 2011.  If the Carmichael project turns out to be unviable or fails, then taxpayers will be left to foot the bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“The fact that Adani is asking for a special Royalty deal highlights that the project does not stack up financially. There isn’t a single financial institution in the world who  are prepared to finance Adani’s mine why is the Queensland government even considering it?”

End of release.

For interviews contact

Michael Kane 

michael@conservationgroup.org.au

Mackay Conservation Group

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Mackay Locals Concerned about Adani's Financial Situation

Media Release

2 September 2019

Mackay locals concerned about Adani’s financial situation.

 New reports analysing Adani Mining’s financial situation have some Mackay locals concerned.

“Adani has shown it can’t be trusted with the environment. Now Mackay locals are also very concerned that Adani may not be able to pay their bills to contractors.” Said Sunny Hungerford , a spokesperson from Mackay Conservation Group

 “The new Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reports outline Adani’s perilous financial situation and notes that Adani Mining already appears insolvent. We are worried that Adani will cause a lot of damage to our environment in the process of building a project which may collapse. The Adani Carmichael coal mine looks like it will be  leaving financial and environmental chaos in its wake.” 

 One concerned member of the Mackay community, Stephen Bulloch, who has now retired from the coal industry, commented on the subject.  “Adani’s financial situation doesn’t look good, I personally would not take the gamble of working with Adani, it’d be backing the wrong horse”

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Adani demands CSIRO scientists’ names: Mackay Conservation Group raises concerns

Media Release
16 July 2019

Adani demands CSIRO scientists’ names: Mackay Conservation Group raises concerns


The Mackay Conservation Group says Adani should be investigated following revelations that the company requested the identities of CSIRO scientists involved in assessing the mining giant’s groundwater management plan (ABC today, Adani demands names of CSIRO scientists reviewing groundwater plans).

Mackay Conservation Group spokesperson, Michael Kane, says “Adani’s actions are clearly designed to intimidate people who work for some of Australia’s most trusted institutions and organisations, including the CSIRO and Geocsience Australia.

“All Australians should be concerned about international corporations applying undue pressure on our independent regulators, regardless of whether they support Adani’s Carmichael project or not.

“If there was a federal anti-corruption body this would be exactly the kind of conduct it would be responsible for examining.

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Media release: Adani's water approval goes against science

13 June 2019

Queensland Government has ignored science by giving away water to Adani

Mackay Conservation Group has today condemned the Queensland Government’s approval of Adani’s Groundwater plan. The group expressed disappointment that the government had given in to bullying by the billionaire mining company and ignored the science, risking Queensland’s water.

Mackay Conservation Group community organiser Emma Barrett said“Today’s decision has ignored expert warnings that Adani’s mine could permanently damage Queensland’s groundwater. Leading water scientists tell us that Adani’s modelling is flawed, not fit for purpose and risks drying up the ecologically important Doongmabulla Springs.

The Doongmabulla Springs is home to four endangered plant and animal species including birds, herbs and grasses.

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Media Release: Beating Air Pollution Critical for World Environment Day

04 June 2019

Tackling air pollution is the theme for United Nations World Environment Day on June 5. Air pollution affects nine out of ten people worldwide and causes seven million premature deaths annually.

The major sources of air pollution are transport, energy generation and agriculture, especially methane from livestock. The burning of waste in open air and build up of organic waste in landfills also contributes to the issue.

Mackay Conservation Group campaigner, Emma Barrett, says that air pollution is a solvable issue.

“When we take actions to tackle air pollutants we see almost immediate improvements in air quality.

“Mackay is in a great position, we still have good air quality and we can start planning for our region to maintain it. That way we will avoid the serious health effects of air pollutants that are affecting other communities.

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Adani CEO misrepresents environment and worker practices

 

Media Release - 20 May 2019

AUSTRALIAN CEO MISREPRESENTS ADANI’S ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD AND OVERLOOKS POOR WORKER PRACTICES

Adani CEO Lucas Dow has made misleading statements today suggesting Adani has been working to the ‘highest environmental standards’ (see text of Morning Bulletin story below) when the record shows they have repeatedly breached Queensland laws, says Mackay Conservation Group today (MCG).

Dow says he can’t understand why the Carmichael coal mine should be held up when it can be delivered “in a manner that is both commercially and environmentally responsible”.

However, Adani’s track record shows a lack of compliance with environmental protections and poor corporate behaviour, including:

  • being currently in court for pollution from its Abbot Point port terminal. Adani breached a pollution licence by 800%, discharging coal-polluted water from the coal terminal into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area;
  • being under investigation at a state level for alleged unlawful drilling and clearing activities at the proposed mine site; and
  • having to pay a $13,000 fine for polluting wetlands.

MCG spokesperson Michael Kane said, “Adani has shown themselves to be poor corporate citizens who can’t be trusted to do the right thing by Queensland’s environment.

“Adani has a history of breaching Queensland laws even before the project has officially been approved, including being fined for polluting wetlands and discharging coal-pollution into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” he said.

“Queensland has laws to protect our water, but Adani clearly doesn’t play by the rules. How can we trust them to look after Queensland’s water?”

“Queenslanders do not appreciate big mining companies risking their precious water resources. Research shows the majority of people in central Queensland are concerned about Adani's impact on ground and river water”.

Mr Kane says it’s disingenuous for Lucas Dow to say he speaks for people in Central Queensland communities reliant on mining, when his record shows he has been responsible for sacking miners and instituting fly in fly out workforces in the recent past.

When Dow was CEO and asset president of BHP Mitsubishi Alliance the company:

  • sacked 700 mine workers in the Bowen Basin;
  • slashed 230 jobs at Saraji mine in Central Qld;
  • had a 100% Fly In Fly out workforce at the Caval Ridge mine, overlooking local employment.

“If Mr Dow expects us to trade off our environment and iconic places then it is time he answered some hard questions on the promises he is making. How automated will this mine be and how many existing coal jobs in the Bowen Basin will we lose?” Mr Kane said.

“When Dow was in charge at BMA they sacked more mine workers than are predicted to be employed at Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

“Under Dow, BMA cut jobs at several mine sites across central Queensland and opted for a fly-in, fly-out workforce over local employment.

“It’s no surprise you won’t find Mr Dow talking about the tens of thousands of reef-related tourism and agricultural jobs at risk from Adani’s coal mine,” he said.

 

Michael Kane is available for interview.


Media contact: 0438 766 230



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Media Release: Adani back in court, polling shows public oppose handouts

Adani in court today for breaching their ‘special’ pollution licence

New poll reveals Central Queensland voters oppose the Qld government granting special deals to Adani on roads, royalties and water

Mackay Conservation Group released polling today that shows the majority of Central and North Queensland voters want government subsidies for Adani withdrawn. The group delivered a letter to local MP, Julieanne Gilbert, calling on the Queensland Government to cancel what amounts to nearly $500 million in subsidies.

Peter McCallum, Co-ordinator of Mackay Conservation Group said, “It’s disturbing that governments trust Adani to push ahead with a mine at a time when they’re being prosecuted in court for polluting the Great Barrier Reef with coal.

“Last year the Queensland government granted Adani a favour and issued a special licence to allow them to pour coal-laden water into one of the world’s greatest natural assets, the Great Barrier Reef, and Adani failed to even comply with that.

“Today the Mackay Conservation Group is releasing new Reachtel polling in three federal electorates in regional Queensland, conducted on 30 November.

“The polling of voters in Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay reveals more that 60.0% of respondents strongly oppose the Queensland government giving Adani special deals, which allow the company to avoid paying a reported $370 million in royalties and offers Adani a $100 million publicly-funded road upgrade and a licence to take unlimited water for 60 years.

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National Park Commercialisation Plan Outrages Environmentalists

Media Release

7 November 2018

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Photo: Zoe Bay on Hinchinbrook Island - Steven Nowakowski

Mackay Conservation Group has launched a campaign against a Queensland Government plan to allow private tourism development in three of the state’s iconic national parks.

Last month the Tourism Minister, Kate Jones, issued a statement calling for expressions of interest from private tourism operators to build accommodation and conduct private walking tours in Hinchinbrook, Whitsunday Islands and Great Sandy national parks. 

In a document on a government website, private developers are being offered 30 year exclusive leases on current national park land plus a 30 year option. The government will also fast track the assessment process. In the case of Whitsunday Islands national park the government is also offering private developers a $5 million subsidy to assist with accommodation construction.

Mackay Conservation Group has launched a petition, which has collected over 700 signatures, calling on the state government to scrap its plans.

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Secret docs: Adani knew it would pollute Reef - Gets off Scot Free


MEDIA RELEASE

10 August 2018

Qld govt fails to prosecute Adani for breaking law, polluting Reef waters

Adani tries to block documents showing it knew pollution would occur

Previously secret documents show Adani and the Qld Department of the Environment knew that water, containing high concentrations of coal pollutants, would be released from Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal into Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area waters during Cyclone Debbie, in breach of even the special licence to pollute that was issued to Adani at the time.

Despite a clear breach of Adani’s license to pollute, it is now 16 months since Cyclone Debbie and the Queensland government has as yet failed to launch prosecution proceedings after Adani challenged its $12,190 fine.

In a lengthy process, Adani sought to block Mackay Conservation Group’s right to information request. A backgrounder, with links to the documents and the Information Commissioner’s judgment, can be found here.

Coordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group, Mr Peter McCallum said, “This proves once again that Adani can’t be trusted and sees itself as above the law. Adani mustn’t get off scot-free. The Queensland government must launch a prosecution in the next few weeks otherwise the time will expire.

“Adani has challenged their measly $12,190 fine, despite admitting to intentionally breaching its pollution licence by more than 800 per cent and allegedly submitting an altered laboratory report.

“The company is also in court appealing an order that it examine pollution of the Abbot Point Caley Valley wetlands and consider a new water management strategy, in an attempt to bully the Government into a cheaper, less effective investigation.

“North Queenslanders don’t want a mining company which thumbs its nose at regulation designed to protect our precious environment.

“Just last week Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said Queensland has some of the strictest environmental measures in world which Adani is subject to.

“It’s now up to Minister Enoch to show Queenslanders that she will enforce these environmental laws and do no more special favours for Adani.

“The secret documents show Adani knew that the concentration of contaminants that flowed into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef was likely to be in the range of 500 to 900mg/L, well above the 100 mg/L allowed by even its temporary license to pollute issued during the storm.

“The port where Adani operates is frequently subject to severe weather. Over the past five decades, 23 tropical cyclones have passed within 100km of the site.

“Considering Adani is seeking approval to increase the amount of coal that goes through its port by 10 million tonnes a year, the Queensland government must require Adani clean up its act and stormproof the terminal to prevent future pollution.

“The public should be confident that the Queensland Government is committed to ensuring Adani causes no more harm to the Great Barrier Reef, our state’s unique wildlife, our precious water or the cultural heritage values of the indigenous community,” Mr McCallum said.

Contact: Peter McCallum 0402 966 560 for comment.

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