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Media Release: Fresh FOI docs reveal CSIRO concerns about Adani ignored

Media Release

14 May 2019

Commenting on new CSIRO emails released today by the ABC, showing the agency was pressured by the Coalition government to approve Adani's controversial water plan within a number of hours, despite holding outstanding concerns, underline why Minister Price’s controversial decision should be reviewed, said Mackay Conservation Group today (“Adani water plan ticked off within hours despite lack of detail, internal CSIRO emails reveal”, ABC today).

Peter McCallum, Mackay co-ordinator of the Defend our Water Campaign - Not One Drop for Adani said, “It’s clear from these new CSIRO emails, released under right to information laws, that the agency responsible for properly scrutinising Adani’s groundwater plans was under a lot of pressure to tick off on the plans before the election was called.

The ABC reports the CSIRO was asked to provide a letter of advice, on which Minister Price could rely, merely on the basis of a verbal briefing and a short summary document provided that day.

“Adani CEO Mr Lucas Dow calls the CSIRO and GeoScience Australia ‘two of the most preeminent science organisations in Australia’. Knowing they had outstanding concerns about Adani’s groundwater plan are cause for all Australians to be concerned about the risks posed to our precious water supplies by Adani’s mine.

“With almost 60 per cent of Queensland still in drought, Queensland can’t afford to put at risk the water that our community relies upon”.

“Adani’s track record in Australia shows they can’t be trusted, before they even start work. Adani are under investigation for drilling bores without permission at their mine site. They are in court facing charges for coal spill pollution, and they have been fined for polluting sensitive wetlands next to their coal port.

The ball is now with the next federal government to require Adani conduct proper research to identify the source aquifer of the nationally important Doongmabulla Springs. Adani’s water plan approval should be revoked until CSIRO and GeoScience Australia are fully satisfied with Adani’s groundwater plan,” Mr McCallum said.

Polling in Herbert, Dawson and Capricornia has revealed more than two thirds of residents support further scientific research to protect water resources before Adani’s mine is allowed to proceed.  Furthermore, across all three electorates, due to the drought, a clear majority support the cancellation of Adani’s water licences to safeguard Queensland’s water resources.

Media contact: Peter McCallum MCG 0402 966 560

The Defend our Water Campaign Not One Drop for Adani was launched in February 2019 to draw attention to Adani’s plans to extract billions of litres of water from our rivers and underground reservoirs every year to run their mega coal mine - threatening the livelihoods of farmers and regional communities who rely on water to survive. Since then the campaign has been active in Central Queensland organising community forums, door-knocking, street marches, stalls and MP meetings. Groups involved in the Defend Our Water campaign include Mackay Conservation Group, Lock the Gate, Reef Action Whitsunday, Stop Adani Townsville, Central Queensland, North Queensland Conservation Council, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

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