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.Read more
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.Read more
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
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.Read more
7 November 2018
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.Read more
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.
Mackay, Queensland. Mackay Conservation Group has today called on Premier Palaszczuk to rule out giving Adani up to $100 million of taxpayers funds for a road upgrade for its proposed mine, noting that dedicating public funds to the coal project would break her election promise of ‘no state funding for Adani’. (“Qld Government considering funding $100m road for Adani mine, documents show”, ABC today).
Mackay Conservation Group community organiser Maggie McKeown said, “Yet again the Queensland government is actively considering giving Adani handouts to build a mine that the majority of Queenslanders do not want.
“The Queensland Coordinator General recommended Adani be responsible for road upgrades and Adani said it would pay for the upgrade. Why then would the Premier spend public funds on this project?
“Polls show that seven out of ten Queenslanders say Adani should fund its own project rather than expect a taxpayer subsidy. (Stop Adani Alliance, October 2017)
“Queenslanders want public money spent on schools, hospitals and large-scale renewable energy projects. They quite rightly do not support their taxes being used to maximise the profits of a an overseas mining billionaire.
“Adani has received special deals from all levels of government. The Palaszczuk government has been the biggest offender, offering cut price royalties, a license to take unlimited groundwater for 60 years and a license to pollute at Abbot Point Coal Terminal during Cyclone Debbie.
“Enough is enough. The Premier must today rule out this latest leg up, using taxpayers’ money,” Ms McKeown said.
Contact: Maggie McKeown 0434 837 774
The RTI documents and a briefing paper can be found here.
ACF report, A Fistful of Dollars: Adani’s Preferential Treatment by Federal, State and Local Australian Governments, Oct 2017
Mackay Conservation Group is a volunteer based organisation that was established in 1983 that works to protect Central Queensland’s environment www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au