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Media Release: Palaszczuk breaks election promise with new roads handout for Adani

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

Background
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




How will climate change affect Mackay?

Mackay Conservation Group community organiser, Maggie Mckeown, recently made a presentation to Mackay Regional Council about the impacts of climate change on the region. Here's what she said.

20170328001301531293-minihighres-1-960x540.jpgMackay city is a low lying coastal city in an part of the world that is frequently threatened by tropical cyclones. Last year the city dodged a bullet when Cyclone Debbie changed course and did not arrive in Mackay. We know that there was an unprecedented level of preparation for the cyclone but all that would have been completely insufficient had Debbie made landfall in Mackay simultaneous with a 5.8 metre tide. Most of the urban area would have been inundated and potentially significant numbers of casualties. We have seen two very large cyclones in Northern Queensland over the past decade, Yasi and Debbie. Predictions are that cyclones will become larger and more destructive as ocean temperatures rise due to global warming. The cost of dealing with major climate related events is significant both locally and globally. Cyclone Debbie cost insurers $1.56 billion by November. That will undoubtedly lead to increased insurance premiums and increased difficulty in obtaining insurance for those in cyclone prone zones. The cost to the Queensland economy has been estimated at over $2 billion with mining, agriculture and tourism industries were severely disrupted by the cyclone.

The Mackay region is not alone in facing climate induced catastrophes. Right now we are witnessing Cape Town in South Africa, a city with a population of 3.7 million about to run out of water, the first city that magnitude to do so. The water supply failure has been blamed on poor city management but without three years of unprecedented drought the city would not be facing a crisis. Closer to home, Pacific Islanders in places such as Kiribati have seen sea level rise make parts of their island nation uninhabitable. Sixteen percent of the land area of India is dependent on glacial fed Himalayan streams. Those glaciers that maintain stream flows during summer and winter are melting. Initially that means more rapid flows and floods but in the long term it means drought and chronic food and water shortages. All these events and many more are inevitable consequences of a hotter climate which in turn is brought about by human burning of fossil fuels.

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What will this Mighty Force do next?

Stop_Adani_Batman_Crew.jpgLast week we premiered the brand new #StopAdani documentary A Mighty Force. With a combined membership of around two million people, the movement to stop Adani's unbankable mine will continue to grow and shift the politics on coal. 

The screening was made extra special, with local cane grower Michelle Ready who features in the film, explaining to the audience why she is so passionate about Stopping Adani. Her and her husband Viv work on their Finch Hatton cane farm that has been in the family for 60 years. Like majority of farmers in Queensland, they rely on groundwater resources to nourish their property, and they are concerned about the irreversible impacts that Adani's mine could have on Queensland's groundwater. 
It was a great turnout of locals, energised to up the ante on Mackay's campaign to stop Adani. If you want to learn more and get involved, come along to the next Stop Adani meeting or to the Finch Hatton screening of A Mighty Force.

Adani's drain on Farmers

At the Mackay premiere of the Stop Adani documentary, A Mighty Force, local cane grower Michelle Ready explained to locals why she is so passionate about stopping Adani's mega-mine. 

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My name’s Michelle and I’m a farmer’s wife.  I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve taken time to do the research and have spoken with many, better informed people, including farmers who are at the coal face, so to speak.  The farm we’re on has been in my husband’s family around 60 years, and we wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the groundwater.  It provides all our domestic needs.  On the farming side however, we’re lucky to have limited access to the creek, when the rains fail to come.

But there are farmers who aren’t as lucky as us, whose only reliable source is groundwater from the Galilee Basin, part of the Great Artesian Basin.  Out there, at the Carmichael mine site, groundwater is everything, and it absolutely defies belief that our elected officials have decided to give it away, free and unlimited amounts of it, to a company with the most atrocious history of environmental degradation.

Coal mines require enormous amounts of water.  I remember years ago hearing that wars would be fought over water, and I thought at the time, “no way there’s so much water, what’s the problem”.  I was wrong.  Farmers are the first to feel the effects of drought, and climate change, yet eventually everyone will.  Look at Cape Town. Broken Hill.

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Media Release: Adani accused of doctoring Abbot Point results

MEDIA RELEASE - 2 February 2018

Adani falsifies Abbot Point wetlands pollution lab results

Revelations Adani corrupted pollution evidence as part of $12K fine appeal   
Stop Adani Alliance poll shows 3/4 of Qlders think Adani should drop its appeal and pay fine

On International Wetlands Day, findings uncovered by the Queensland Environment Department that Adani doctored laboratory reports of coal-laden polluted water spilt during Cyclone Debbie from Abbot Point Port shows yet again why governments should block Adani’s project, says the Stop Adani Alliance (Guardian Australia today: “Suspicions Adani altered lab report while appealing fine for Abbot Point coal spill”).

As part of court proceedings by Adani challenging the $12,900 fine imposed by the Environment Department for polluting Abbot Point during Cyclone Debbie, it has been revealed that the company falsified laboratory reports by leaving off results submitted earlier.

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, who visited Abbot Point with department officials in April 2017 to inspect the pollution said, “If Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is looking for one more reason why the Adani mine does not stack up then here it is.”

Adani Group companies have a well-documented record of environmental destruction and prosecutions overseas, including illegal dealings, bribery, environmental and social devastation and allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering.

“On International Wetlands Day this shows once again why Adani can’t be trusted with the sensitive Caley Valley Wetlands, our precious natural environment, or our Reef. These new revelations show they also can’t be trusted with scientific evidence.

“Queenslanders are understandably concerned that Adani is even challenging this puny fine. A Stop Adani Alliance ReachTEL poll of residents across Queensland, conducted in October 2017, found three quarters thought that Adani should drop the court action and pay the fine”.

The ReachTel poll of 1,652 Qld residents conducted on the night of 24th October 2017 is below. (Full poll can be provided on request.)

Adani admitted to the Queensland Department of Environment that it released more than eight times its licensed concentration of pollution in March 2017.

For further information and interviews: Peter McCallum 0402 966 560

Mackay Conservation Group, a member of the Stop Adani Alliance, is a volunteer based organisation established in 1983 that works to protect Central Queensland’s environment www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au

ReachTel Poll Question:

Adani has been fined $12,900 by the Queensland Department of the Environment for polluting the Reef coast with coal during Cyclone Debbie from the Abbot Point Port terminal it operates. Adani is now contesting the fine in court.

Should Adani drop the court action and pay the fine?

 

 

Media Release: Report finds Adani polluted sensitive wetlands

33962498356_dd790646b7_z.jpgMackay Conservation Group says a new Queensland Government report confirms Adani’s coal terminal has polluted the nationally significant Caley Valley wetlands during Cyclone Debbie and shows the company cannot be trusted to operate a mine, rail and port operation in Queensland.

A report commissioned by the Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP), which relied on samples taken four weeks after the cyclone, has found up to 10 per cent of sediment in the wetlands near Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal was actually coal that the company allowed to leave its site. This follows Adani being fined $12,900 for polluting the Reef coast. Adani is currently challenging the fine in court.

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, who visited the contamination site at the invitation of DEHP to observe the contamination first hand, said “It was clear to me that there was coal everywhere we looked when we visited the site a month after Cyclone Debbie. This report confirms those observations and makes clear that Adani is not fit to operate a massive coal project in Queensland,” Mr McCallum said.

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Adani’s Abbot Point pollution demands prosecution

Screen_Shot_2017-04-09_at_9.40.03_am_copy.pngMackay Conservation Group, which last week joined government scientists on a site visit to Adani’s Abbot Point facility where it was evident Adani had allowed coal to pollute the sensitive Caley Valley wetlands during Cyclone Debbie, say the wholesale breach of Adani’s pollution license shows the company cannot be trusted to operate in Australia

Coordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group, Mr Peter McCallum said, “Even with a license to pollute in its back pocket, Adani has still managed to exceed the permitted discharge of contaminants by 800 per cent. This is one more sign Adani’s mine should not proceed

“This breach isn't a minor one. It's equivalent to driver travelling at over 300km/h in a school zone

“Adani have been found to be operating a coal terminal in a cyclone-prone area that cannot withstand a cyclone without risk of contaminating the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Caley Valley Wetlands.

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Media Release: Adani defeat no 'mere technicality'

Press release from 5 August 2015

ADANI CARMICHAEL COURT DEFEAT NO MERE TECHNICALITY

Court cases reveal deep flaws in modelling, devastating impacts

Indian coal giant Adani, the mining industry and the Federal Environment Minister are wrong to characterise today’s Federal court decision as a ‘technical glitch’, when it is symptomatic of deep flaws with the Carmichael proposal that have only been revealed through proper court scrutiny, said Ms Ellen Roberts, Coordinator of Mackay Conservation Group.

 

 

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MCG challenges Adani's environmental record

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.

You can read media coverage of this latest addition to our case in the Courier Mail, the Guardian, and the Sydney Morning Herald and at the ABC online.

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.

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new proposal for dredge spoil dumping at Abbot Point

On 11 March the new government announced their new proposal for the Abbot Point expansion, which shifted dredge spoil from the Caley Valley wetlands to a site immediately adjacent on the former site of terminal 2.

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The series of new proposals at Abbot Point are the result of community, scientific and international concern about the compatibility of expanding coal export infrastructure at a time when the health of the Great Barrier Reef is in serious decline.

No-one wants to see increased sediment in the wetlands and the Reef as a result of the new proposal. The new development at Abbot Point was discussed at our last volunteer meeting and the views of the MCG volunteers on the new proposal are summarised at our website. Comments welcome.

The following summarises a discussion at a Mackay Conservation Group volunteers meeting on Thursday 19 March. Please leave any comments below:

 

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