January 18, 2019

Australian Government fails the environment yet again

The Australian Government has just exonerated Adani for illegally drilling into aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin. The federal department took one day to investigate the incidents.

In other words, the federal government has no intention of protecting the environment from activities that threaten our most important freshwater resource.

This follows the decision to not use the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act’s “water trigger” which was established in 2013 to protect our important water resources. Under the “water trigger”, major coal mining proposals (like Adani’s) would be assessed for its impacts on water by an Independent Expert Scientific Committee, who would advise the Minister of whether the project should be approved. This federal government decided that a 27MT per year coal mine did not require this assessment, and so Adani has avoided this scrutiny.

Adani has a history of breaking the law with this project. In September of last year Adani admitted to lying about the work done on its site. They also inadvertently informed the Queensland Government that they drilled bores to dewater the proposed mine site, not monitor as they had claimed.

This is why we need governments to take seriously their obligations to ensure companies like Adani will not break the law and will not destroy our precious water resources.

This company cannot be trusted and this project is too dangerous for our future. It is a massive addition to carbon emissions, an existential threat to our freshwater and an attack on the local Traditional Owners of the region.

The Queensland Government has been looking into the same activities and is yet to finalise their decision. We hope they will take their responsibilities more seriously than the current federal government.

For interviews:

Glen Klatovsky 350.org Australia on 0410 482 243; glen@350.org.au.