In January this year, MCG launched a legal challenge to Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of the Carmichael coal mine. We said that Greg Hunt ignored the contribution of the mine to increased greenhouse gasses and climate change.
Last week we added a further ground to our challenge. Reading over the documents from the case, it was clear that Greg Hunt had chosen to ignore Adani’s poor environmental record in India, even though he knew that Adani had recently been found guilty of violating India’s environment laws in connection with their development at the Mundra Port.
Getup! travelled to India to talk to people who are living with the environmental devastation at Adani’s Indian port, click below to watch the video.
Media Release: Federal Court to scrutinize Adani’s environmental record in India
Wednesday 18 March: For the first time, environmental violations by the controversial Adani group will be the subject of court action in Australia, after Mackay Conservation Group (MCG) filed an amended court challenge.
Mackay Conservation Group, represented by the environmental legal centre, EDO NSW, initiated a legal challenge to the proposed Carmichael project in January 2015.
This week, MCG filed an amended claim that alleges that Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt also failed to adequately consider Adani’s poor environmental record.
Documents handed to MCG as part of judicial review demonstrate that while Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt chose to assess Adani’s environmental record, he failed to take key evidence into account, instead relying on a self-assessment submitted by the Indian conglomerate in 2010.
‘Adani has an appalling environmental track-record in India,’ said Mackay Conservation Group Co-ordinator Ellen Roberts. ‘Simply put, the only way Greg Hunt could issue an approval was to try to brush it under the carpet.’
In 2013 the Indian government found Adani guilty of serious breaches of Indian environmental law, including illegally clearing mangroves and destroying tidal creeks.
It also found that infrastructure associated with the Adani’s port in Mundra had been built without environmental approvals. None of this had been taken into account as part of the approvals process for Carmichael.
‘Adani want to operate one of the world’s biggest coal mines, access billions of litres of water from the Great Artesian Basin, and manage a coal port in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,’ said Roberts.
‘But this is a company which has flouted the law in India and shown a reckless disregard for the environment.’
‘Greg Hunt has failed in his duty to the Australian people by choosing to ignore the evidence.’
The case will be heard in the Federal Court in Sydney on 10 and 11 August. The case also argues that climate change impacts of the burning of coal from Carmichael were not adequately taken into account.