Pages tagged "Adani"
Media Release: Adani commits further erosion and sediment breaches despite QLD government commitment to enforce water and soil safeguards
5 August 2021
Mackay Conservation Group (MCG) is calling on the Queensland government to stop work on Adani’s rail line and investigate fresh erosion control breaches and sediment pollution.
Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia (EJA), acting for MCG, have lodged a complaint with the Queensland Coordinator General and Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Stephen Miles. The complaint details continued erosion and sediment pollution and potential breaches of environmental conditions on the under-construction Adani rail line.
MCG is concerned the Queensland Government has failed to carry out commitments it made in May this year to monitor Adani’s erosion and sediment control measures in response to an independent investigation triggered by an MCG pollution incident report lodged with the Coordinator General in February. The investigation recommended the Queensland Government undertake regular site inspections, audits and water quality monitoring on the Adani rail corridor.
In June MCG received information that no erosion and sediment controls were in place on a section of Adani’s rail line, resulting in sediment pollution after recent wet weather. Fresh photos and footage of the site confirm widespread erosion and sediment control failings on the Adani rail line between Serpentine Creek and Chainage 2660.
The Office of the Queensland Coordinator General told the ABC "There will be continuing monitoring by the Office of the Coordinator-General to ensure full compliance.” Evidence provided in MCG’s latest complaint details extensive areas of the rail corridor where no erosion and sediment control measures are in place, raising serious doubts about whether monitoring has occurred at all.
Erosion and sediment control failings on the site include:
- A 2km stretch of land with disturbed, uncovered, light soils susceptible to erosion without any or appropriate sediment controls in place.
- Large amounts of turbid water ponding on the rail line without sediment traps on water entry and exit points, leading to a high risk of contaminated water running off and affecting neighbouring land and waterways.
No, or grossly inadequate, controls in place to prevent the water from running across the corridor and into the surrounding land and waterways.
Areas where it is clear that erosion has occurred, and water and sediment have broken through the inadequate bunding on the rail line, leading to water and sediment running onto the neighbouring land.
Tom Crothers, a soil erosion expert and former General Manager for Water Allocation and Planning in the Queensland Department of Environment, has reviewed photos and footage of the site and raised concerns about a lack of erosion and sediment control measures. Mr Crothers was able to identify several locations where sediment pollution has spilled from the rail corridor and onto the surrounding land.
Recent wet weather on the Adani rail line and a predicted early start to the wet season, has raised concerns that further environmental damage caused by Adani’s poor practices is imminent if no action is taken by the Queensland Government.
Peter McCallum coordinator at Mackay Conservation Group says:
“The Queensland Government said they would conduct ongoing monitoring of Adani’s erosion and sediment measures, but is instead allowing Adani to blatantly flaunt the rules. Minister for State Development, Stephen Miles and the Coordinator General must urgently intervene to halt Adani’s rail line construction until Adani can prove to Queenslanders it is complying to environmental protections.”
“Adani’s negligence and flagrant disregard for its environmental obligations is resulting in sediment loaded water polluting neighbouring land and contaminating waterways. With this sort of bare soil, it is common for the run-off water to become very salty and when salty water is allowed to spill out into the countryside, it contaminates the land, and can become so bad that grass and trees will die in the affected area. This is a 189 km long construction site. That's a huge amount of potential damage being done.”
“The Queensland government has allowed Adani to go rogue and do as it pleases. Adani is unable to run a project in line with even basic environmental standards, and the Queensland government is letting them get away with it. Community groups are being forced to act as unofficial watchdogs of this dodgy corporation that the Queensland government is allowing to do as it pleases and damage our environment and precious water.”
“The public has been repeatedly told that the project is subject to strict environmental conditions, while Adani is repeatedly breaching these conditions. Environmental conditions are meaningless if they are not enforced.”
Tom Crothers, Director of Water Resource Management and Rural Water Consulting Group, Stellar Advisory
Ph: 0418 155 661 [email protected]
Hollie Kerwin, Senior Specialist Lawyer, Environmental Justice Australia (EJA),
To arrange an interview contact Livia Cullen EJA Communications Director Ph: 0411 108 239 / [email protected]
Peter McCallum, Coordinator, Mackay Conservation Group
Ph: 0402 966 560 / [email protected]
Copy of letter to Queensland Government:
20 July 2021
The beautiful Black Throated Finch will be the subject of a presentation by researcher Juan Mula Laguna at Mackay Environment Centre next Wednesday (28 July 2021) at 6pm.
In 2019 the Black Throated Finch was declared Australian Bird of the Year after voting by bird lovers all around the country, since then its population has plummeted.
The bird came to national prominence when the Queensland Government rejected Adani’s Black Throated Finch management plan after strong advice from scientists that the plan would push the bird further towards extinction.Read more
Mackay Conservation Group will hold a rally at Bluewater Quay at 6pm on Wednesday 31 August to call on the federal government to overturn the Adani Carmichael mine approval. Other rallies will be held in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg must reconsider the approval of the Adani Carmichael mine and review the environmental legislation that has allowed the mine to proceed.
In Brisbane today the Federal Court announced a decision to reject the Australian Conservation Foundation’s appeal against the mine approval. The court’s decision means that the world’s largest privately owned coal mine now has moved one step closer to opening.
If the mine proceeds it will produce billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and will be a disaster for the reef and for the tens of thousands of tourism jobs dependent upon it.
MCG is calling on the environment minister Josh Frydenberg to reconsider his predecessor’s approval of this mine in the light of the greatest coral bleaching event the world has seen.
Burning coal means a hotter climate and a hotter climate means coral death and death of the tourism industry. 70,000 people are employed reef tourism along the Queensland coast. Burning coal from Carmichael mine will put those jobs at risk.
The environment minister knows that there is a limit on the amount of coal we can burn if we wish to protect the reef but the laws that he is responsible for do not provide the legal protection necessary to ensure our greatest natural treasure is protected.
We are also calling on the environment minister to introduce a climate change trigger in Federal environment laws.
You can help by attending a rally at Mackay's Bluewater Quay at 6pm on Wednesday to call on the federal government to overturn the Adani Carmichael mine approval.
In the same week that the Great Barrier Reef has been declared as in danger of losing its world heritage listing, environmentalists say there is nothing to celebrate in Adani uncovering coal at the Carmichael mine.
The Reef’s biggest threat is climate change, with three mass bleaching events occurring over the past five years.
Adani plans to eventually scale up its mine to dig 60 million tonnes of coal each year. That will add 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, 2 per cent of the carbon dioxide that can be emitted globally to have a better than even chance of keeping global heating below 1.5 degrees.
“This is not a moment for celebration. Future generations of Australians will be battling the serious impacts of climate change. They will look back on today as an abject failure of policy in the face of scientific evidence,” said Mackay Conservation Group campaigner, Sunny Hungerford.
“Where politicians have failed, the public is stepping up to the challenge. Across Australia and around the world people are putting pressure on investors in the Adani project.
“Any investor or contractor supporting Adani is supporting destruction of Wangan and Jagalingou land, Queensland's precious water resources, the Great Barrier Reef and endangered species such as the beautiful Black Throated Finch.
“More than 100 companies have withdrawn support for this project already. We will continue to pressure the remaining few corporations supporting Adani to pull out.
Sunny Hungerford 0499 203 431
25 May 2021
Mackay Conservation Group has welcomed news today that the Federal Court has agreed that the Morrison Government made an error of law when it decided not to apply the ‘water trigger’ to the assessment of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS).
Under Federal regulations, coal projects that extract a significant amount of water are required to submit a rigorous environmental impact statement. This water trigger was not originally applied to Adani’s Water Scheme.
Sunny Hungerford, Campaign Manager at Mackay Conservation Group says:
“Today’s decision is a victory for Queensland’s water and the people and ecosystems that depend on it. In the Government’s rush to approve Adani’s plan to pipe 12.5 Billion litres from the Suttor River each year, they failed to apply proper scrutiny, and failed to properly consider the negative impacts that such a risky water plan could have on surrounding ecosystems, sacred sites, farmers and even towns.
While Queensland’s farmers have battled one of the worst droughts in decades Adani should not be allowed to drain 12.5 billion litres of river water each year just to wash coal and suppress dust at their coal mine.
Adani’s coal project is having devastating impacts on Queensland’s water from sucking up precious groundwater that feed ancient springs and wetlands, failing to manage erosion and polluting waterways with sediment. Today’s court decision proves that additional scrutiny and assessment of Adani’s impacts on water is needed.
Some people in the conservation movement will miss George Christensen when he leaves parliament and passes into political oblivion. His unique ability to be ineffective has meant that some of our region’s most environmentally damaging projects have not gone ahead.Read more
Media Release: Adani’s sediment pollution and failed flood preparation prompts calls to strengthen environmental protection conditions
19 May 2021
An expert report, ordered by the Queensland Coordinator General to investigate Adani’s flood mitigation and sediment control measures on its rail line has concluded that Adani is not following best practice erosion and sediment control guidelines.
- Adani failed to follow its own erosion and sediment control guidelines by conducting works in waterways during the wet season
- Adani failed to prepare sites for flooding leading to unnecessary sediment pollution
- Approval conditions for future projects of a similar nature be strengthened to “prohibit works in waterways during the wet season”
Lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia, acting for Mackay Conservation Group have written to the office of the Queensland Coordinator General calling on them to use existing powers to strengthen environmental conditions and monitoring at Adani’s coal mine and rail projects in light of the concerns the expert report has raised.
Sunny Hungerford, campaign manager at Mackay Conservation Group says:
“The Water and Technology report shows that Adani breached their own guidelines by conducting works in waterways during the wet season and failed to properly prepare sites for flooding which led to sediment pollution. It’s critically important that the Coordinator General's office strengthen the project conditions to specifically prohibit any construction works in waterways during the wet season.”
“The fact that Adani can get away with this shows just how weak and ineffective the environmental conditions the Queensland government has imposed on Adani are. In this case Adani was allowed to get away with failing to prepare for flood events and causing pollution of waterways.
“Adani appears to have a full deck of get out of jail free cards, but Queenslanders expect better management of our precious water and natural assets. This is our backyard that Adani is polluting. Farmers and towns are working hard to protect our waterways from pollution, and companies like Adani should have to do the right thing as well.”
“The Water Technology report makes numerous recommendations for the improvement of erosion and sediment control measures along the rail line project, but it is unclear how Adani’s compliance with implementing the recommendations may be enforced without strengthening the project’s approval conditions and setting out clearly what the consequences are if Adani do not follow them.’
“The Queensland and Federal Governments have repeatedly assured the public that Adani’s coal project has the strictest environmental conditions, but these conditions mean absolutely nothing if they fail to prevent serious environmental damage”Read more
Media Release: Another Adani environmental breach causes pollution to Queensland waterways, says local community group
5 February 2021
Adani’s failure to prepare construction sites on its Carmichael mine rail corridor for wet season flooding has resulted in serious pollution and environmental damage. This pollution has potentially impacted on water quality flowing into wetlands, the coast and, ultimately, the Great Barrier Reef.
Mackay Conservation Group (“MCG”), a local community group, is concerned that Adani’s poor site management and lack of appropriate sediment controls will significantly increase the risk of further environmental damage and breaches in the immediate future.
MCG believes that conditions imposed by the Queensland Coordinator General (QCG) on Adani’s North Galilee Basin Rail Project to protect nearby waterways from contamination may have been breached. The conditions require the development and implementation of erosion and sediment control measures.
In a blog published last week, Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, says that renewables are fast becoming the cheapest and best source of energy, especially for countries that currently rely on fossil fuel imports.
He wrote “Today, as COVID19 challenges the fundamental assumptions of our lives, the urgency of a green revolution in the energy sector gains greater importance. While the immediate economic impact may slow us down, we are presented with an opportunity to pause, rethink, and design a new and faster transition to a low carbon future.”
“The adage that renewables are good for the environment, but bad for business is increasingly a thing of the past. Today, we see an accelerating trend where policies facilitated by governments, public awareness and support for action on climate change, and the economies of scale continue to create massive market demand and job creation through renewables while simultaneously addressing the energy security for countries dependent on energy imports.”Read more
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.