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Media Release: Defend our Water anti-Adani ad campaign for Queensland

‘Defend our Water’ launches anti-Adani ad campaign for Central Qld

TV, radio, digital, print, billboards for Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay

Ads spotlight Adani’s failure to comply with Queensland laws

Central Queenslanders are to be reminded of Adani’s poor track record on water, including breaking Queensland laws, in a major advertising campaign being launched today by the Mackay Conservation Group to run in Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay in the lead up to the Federal election.

The advertising campaign materials can be viewed and downloaded HERE

Peter McCallum, Mackay co-ordinator of the Defend our Water Campaign - Not One Drop for Adani said, “We’ve taken out these ads to make sure the community knows that before Adani has even been granted final approvals for their mine, they’re already breaking the rules.

“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?”

The advertising campaign will run in Central and North Queensland on television, radio and print media as well as billboards.

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Rally for Water, Sat 13 April


Nearly 100 Mackay residents took to the streets on Saturday 13th April to march against the approval of Adani's groundwater plans by the federal government.


The large crowd included indigenous leaders, farmers, school teachers, students and grandparents. It was a clear sign to our political leaders and the media that the Mackay community wanted real action on climate change, which starts with rejecting Adani's coal mine.

Local cane farmer, Len Thompson, spoke about how water is needed to start and sustain life, and how hard it is to live off the land without it.

"Out west, farmers out aren't lucky as we are on the coast. Every year there are long, long dry spells. And the only thing that keeps the farm running is bore water. Water from underground."

"They [Adani] haven't proved that they won't damage the water supplies, that farmers in the dry spells in Queensland depend upon."

"If they do wreck the aquifer, then those farms will become worthless forever."

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Our precious water

D6720474-E5E5-4CAC-929A-160C5E42CEF2.jpegToday is World Water Day and it’s worth taking a moment to think about what we can do to help improve access to this precious resource. The United Nations has a goal of “water for everyone by 2030”. Nobody should be left without ready access to safe, clean water. It’s a human right, yet billions of people, especially those with little political, social or economic clout are living without access to safe water.

www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/WaterPetition

Australians are more aware of the need to be careful with water than people in any other developed country. We live on the driest inhabited continent on earth, so we know that water can run out, even in the biggest cities. It wasn’t very long ago that Brisbane faced a water crisis as dams dropped to extremely low levels. This month Sydney has had to turn on its desalination plant for the first time since it was completed in 2010 because dams have dropped to less than 60 per cent of capacity.

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The insanity of damming Urannah Creek

It is said that ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We have been told that the next big thing for our region is yet another feasibility study for the Urannah dam. That study will be the 19th attempt since 1967 to shuffle the cards and come up with a winning economic hand.

What is even more irrational is that the Federal Government paid $3 million of taxpayers’ money to have those cards reshuffled. Of course there’s a chance that this time the economic analysis may say something different to the previous 18 attempts. Maybe there’s a way to sell the water from Urannah dam to someone who’s willing to pay enough to recoup the dam’s construction and running costs. The only industry that can do that is mining.

Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creek

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Why Adani is wrong in saying they did not pollute the Reef and Caley Valley Wetlands during Cyclone Debbie

Adani has repeatedly claimed it did nothing wrong in relation its management of Abbot Point coal terminal during Cyclone Debbie. The reality is that Adani did cause pollution. Here are the facts:

Temporary Emissions Licence

On 28 April 2017, the Department of Environment & Science (formerly Dept of Environment & Heritage Protection - DEHP) issued Adani with a retrospectively amended Temporary Emissions Licence for the company’s coal terminal at Abbot Point.

The licence permitted Adani to increase the concentration of contaminants flowing into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Caley Valley wetlands from the 30 milligrams per litre (mg/L) to 100mg/L.

Exceedance of TEL

After the cyclone Adani reported to the Queensland Government that the concentration of contaminants measured in water samples collected at the location that flowed into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (known as W2) was 806mg/L. Those samples were collected using an automated process. The concentration of contaminants exceeded the temporarily permitted limit by more than 800%.

At the other authorised location (called W1), which flowed into the Caley Valley Wetlands, samples were collected after staff returned to the site following the cyclone. At the time of collection the concentration was 80mg/L which was below the temporary limit. However, there were no samples collected during the event so nobody knows whether the limit was exceeded at any time while the licence was in operation.

Government fine

On 3 May 2017 the head of Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Jim Reeves, said that Adani could face a penalty of $3.8 million for a wilful breach of its licence. However, on 20 July DEHP issued Adani with a $12,190 fine for the breach. On 24 August the ABC reported that Adani had informed DEHP that it would contest the fine. The government has until 7 September 2018 to decide whether to take the matter to court.

Wetlands

Public awareness of the coal spill followed aerial photographs taken after Cyclone Debbie indicating a significant flow of coal from stockpiles at the port into Caley Valley wetlands through release point W1. A July 2017 report by the Queensland government reports on a scientific assessment of the wetlands post Cyclone Debbie. Soil samples collected by the Queensland government were analysed by two companies, Australian Laboratory Services (ALS) and UQ Materials Performance (UQMP).

ALS analysed the samples using Australian Standards AS2856 Part 1 & 2 and found that coal made up 26.8% of the samples taken from Caley Valley shore and 15.4% of the samples from Caley Valley wetlands. The report says that these represent “quite a significant volume of coal”.

UQMP used an in-house analysis method and found that the samples contained 10% and 2% coal just near location W2 and trace contamination across the wetlands.

In Adani’s 27 August 2018 statement the company quotes a Queensland government report that says there is little visual evidence of coal fines across the entire wetland.

Mackay Conservation Group visited the Caley Valley wetlands on 27 & 28 April 2017 following an invitation from Queensland’s environment minister. We had been told that we would be able to collect soil samples at the site but on arrival people representing Adani told us we could not collect any samples or photographs. During our visit we observed significant coverage of coal fines in the parts of the wetland we were permitted to visit. The Queensland Government photo above shows significant coal contamination in the soil sample taken in the Caley Valley wetlands. More photos from the site inspection can be found here

Adani has been required by the Queensland Government to undertake an environmental evaluation into the causes and impacts of the coal spill into the Caley Valley wetlands. Adani has appealed this requirement and the case will be heard in October 2018.

For a more extensive background document on this issue see this article on our website.


RTI docs show Adani & Qld govt knew Reef pollution at Abbot Pt likely

A Right To Information request by Mackay Conservation Group (MCG) has resulted in the release of previously secret documents which reveal that both Adani and the Queensland Government were well aware that water, containing high concentrations of pollutants, could be released from Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area during Cyclone Debbie, in breach of even the special licence to pollute that the Department of Environment issued at the time.

After the cyclone Adani admitted to breaching its Temporary Emissions Licence (TEL) by more than 800% of the amount of coal polluted water allowed to be released into the Reef coast. Adani subsequently spent a year attempting to block the release of documents that would reveal what the company knew about the concentration of pollutants that could flow into the environment. In agreeing to release the information, the Right to Information Commissioner criticised Adani’s arguments for blocking the documents as “too speculative or conjectural to form a reasonably based expectation” that it could prejudice an ongoing investigation into a possible contravention of the TEL.

Despite a clear breach of Adani’s licence to pollute, it is now sixteen months since the cyclone and it appears that the Queensland government has failed to yet launch proceedings to prosecute Adani for unlawfully releasing coal polluted water into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The latest advice from the Department is that it has until 7 September 2018 to launch a prosecution.

Meanwhile Adani is:

  • challenging the Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) of $12,190 for the breach and, as part of proceedings, was alleged to have submitted an altered laboratory report about the concentration of contaminants released to the marine environment;
  • appealing the Queensland Environment Department’s decision to require that they carry out an environmental investigation as a result of the discharge during the cyclone into the Caley Valley Wetlands at Abbot Point, to look at causes and impacts
  • seeking approval from the Queensland government to increase the amount of coal that goes through its Abbot Point Port by 10 million tonnes per annum, yet failing to ensure its terminal is more storm proof and likely to pollute.

The previously secret documents, released under RTI are here. The judgment by the Queensland Information Commission is here.

An extensive blog  on the pollution incident at Abbot Point, and how events unfolded, has been prepared by the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office and can be found here.

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Walk for Water

A huge crowd marched through the main street of Mackay in the Walk for Water. Our government needs to listen to Queenslanders, and rule out wasting our water on Adani's mega-mine. 

With over half of Queensland drought declared, we cannot afford to give billions of litres of water to Adani. Sign the petition to protect Qld's water now, and make sure you come along to the Stop Adani meetings on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month.  

You can read more about the predicted impacts to water that the Adani mine will have here

Check out more of the great photos... 

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Walk for Water

Adani's Carmichael mine threatens the health of ancient and precious water sources connected to the Great Artesian Basin. Regional communities rely on it this water, and Australian's everywhere want to protect it. 

Adani's Carmichael mine will drain at least 270 billion litres of groundwater over the life of the mine - that's four Sydney Harbours! Read more about the predicted impacts here

That's why we are joining together to Walk for Water and call on the Qld government to do the right thing for Queenslanders and Australians by saying no to letting Adani tap in to our water resources. 

RSVP HERE

This is a really important event and part of a big push to secure water resources into the future - we need as many people as possible to come along!

Plus there will be speakers, music and a colourful parade of people - what better way to stand up for our water?!

We'll be holding regular meetings in the lead up so let us know if you would like to help make it all happen.

RSVP now so that we can keep you updated with details, speakers and so much more! And make sure share and invite your friends on Facebook!

If you can't come to the walk, make sure you sign the pledge to protect our water!

WHEN
June 16, 2018 at 2pm - 4pm
WHERE
Jubilee Park
Cnr Wellington Street and Alfred Street
Mackay, Queensland 4740
Australia
Google map and directions
CONTACT
Maggie Mckeown · [email protected] · 0434837774

Salties threatened by proposed Katter legislation

Crocodiles are an iconic species of Northern Australia. They were almost hunted to extinction during the mid twentieth century but in 1974 legislation protected all crocodiles from unlicensed killing. 

A bill has been introduced to the Queensland parliament by Katter Party MP, Shane Knuth, that would permit crocodile hunting, egg collection, removal and relocation to crocodile reserves. The Safer Waterways Bill is based on the false premise that there is a significant problem of crocodile attack in Queensland. The explanatory notes to the bill provide a thorough summary of the intentions of the proposed legislation.

The ABC recently undertook a fact check of Bob Katter's claim that a person is killed by a crocodile every three months in North Queensland. They found his claim to be false. Since 1985 there has been one fatal attack by a crocodile every three years. Meanwhile, in the 2007-2016 period there were on average 8.5 people killed in boating incidents in Queensland, a far more dangerous activity it seems. 

The Queensland parliament's Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee is currently seeking submissions on the Safer Waterways Bill 2018. You can help maintain the current protections for crocodiles by making a submission before 4pm on 31 May 2018 asking the committee to*:

  • reject the entire Safer Waterways Bill 2018
  • call on the Queensland Government to commit to rigorous community consultation with all First Nations Peoples regarding Crocodile Management
  • ensure there is increase employment and training of ‘Indigenous Ranger and Protected Area’ programs
  • call on the Queensland Government to explore nature-based tourism ventures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, First Nations Peoples communities
  • require further crocodile surveys to gain accurate scientific data on crocodile populations and crocodile egg health.
  • require research investment into possible changes in crocodile egg mortality and survival rates to sexual maturity
  • ensure there is no interference with crocodile populations through culling, removal or egg-harvesting be permitted unless conducted by authorised officers for essential public safety management, approved scientific research
  • ensure there is well resourced "Be Croc-Wise" education campaign in Queensland

To be valid your submission must include your name and two of the three below:

  • mailing address
  • email address
  • daytime phone number 

Address your submission to

The Secretary
Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee
Ph: 3553 6662 Fax: 3553 6699
Email: [email protected]

*Thanks to Michael McCabe of Capricorn Conservation Council for these points


Our Water Our Lifeblood

Every which way you look at it - water is life. Every cell of every thing needs water. 

In Queensland we experience water in every form, from the very wet to the very dry but wherever you are, water is life. However, in the twists and turns of the Stop Adani campaign the issue of water is sometimes forgotten. 

Our water is our lifeblood in Queensland and that's why so many people took action at the Walk for Water on the 16th of June and are signing the pledge calling for the cancellation of Adani's water licences

Adani's Carmichael mine will drain at least 270 billion litres of groundwater over the life of the mine - that's four Sydney Harbours! Lock the Gate brought water management expert Tom Crothers to Mackay to explain the impacts that the mine could have on not only local landholders in the Galilee Basin, but to all those who rely on the Great Artesian Basin. 

The drain on Qld water resources is just the beginning. The really concerning part is the lack of research that has been conducted to estimate the likelihood of damage to aquifers, sediment layers and neighbouring springs and therefore the impacts on water resources that regional communities desperately rely on in times of drought. 

That's why a Motion of intent was passed by the crowd, calling on the Qld Government to cancel Adani's Water licence, so that precious regional water resources are protected. 

You can also sign the pledge which will be sent to Premier Palaszczuk and other ministers.

Keep reading to find out more about how Adani's mine threatens Qld's vital water resources.

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