In a huge win for our client the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Federal Government has conceded the case brought against it over Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme.
This is a massive outcome not just for our clients but for the broader community, who raised grave concerns about the effect this project would have on Australia’s precious water resources.
In conceding the case, the Federal Environment Minister has admitted the Federal Government failed to consider all of the thousands of valid public submissions about if and how Adani’s project should be assessed, in direct breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Those people were denied their right to a voice in this process. This win will ensure their voice is heard.
Now the Government will need to go back to the drawing board and open up assessment of the project for public comment again.
It’s a big moment in the Adani story, and it couldn’t have happened without the bold vision of ACF in launching the case, backed by the hard work and expertise of the legal team here at EDO Qld.
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An important win over Adani
This win is a humiliating outcome for the Federal Government over its assessment of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme – the plan to pump up to 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the Suttor River to the company’s Carmichael mine site.
Thousands of Australians made valid public comments on Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme referral, many concerned about the project’s impact on our precious water resources during a time of extreme drought.
The Federal Environment Minister has now admitted her delegate did not consider these comments, as required by law.
In fact, she has admitted that her Department lost an unknown number of public comments made over the controversial project.
This botched process points to a worrying lack of oversight in core assessment procedures designed to protect Australia’s precious water resources.
Now the Government will have to go back and open the process up for public comment all over again – this time ensuring the community’s voice is heard over the project.
The ‘water trigger’ and Adani’s NGWS
The Federal Environment Minister did not concede our client’s initial argument in the case, which was that the ‘water trigger’ should have applied to the Scheme.
The ‘water trigger’ is a measure that ensures any action which has a significant impact on water resources and involves a large coal mining development requires a more rigorous assessment under the EPBC Act.
The community is still no closer to having an answer on why the ‘water trigger’ should not have applied to the North Galilee Water Scheme – a project which will take billions of litres of water a year from Central Queensland to service a coal mine.
The Australian people have a right to know the impact big projects like this have on their precious water resources.
EDO Qld will continue to assist the community in scrutinising the Minister’s pending re-assessment of the project.
Adani Fighting Fund
EDO Qld is at the forefront of the legal fight against Adani. Donate now to our Adani Fighting Fund.
We have represented the community in court against Adani numerous times in cases just like this, and provided community groups with valuable legal advice about the Carmichael mine.
And we have submitted persuasive evidence to the Queensland Government that Adani has broken the law by commencing illegal work at its Carmichael mine site.
Holding a massive multinational to account like this is crucial to protect our climate and our precious groundwater. But it’s not easy, and it’s not cheap.
Every cent of money in this fighting fund will go towards supporting our important work holding Adani to account, and ensuring it complies with our state and federal laws.
The Adani Fighting Fund will help us to:
- Turbocharge our work on Adani and take on cases like this relating to their Carmichael megamine and other projects
- Shine a light on Adani’s activities in the Galilee Basin, and keep up pressure on the State Government to properly enforce our environmental laws
- Fight off Adani’s attacks on community groups like EDO Qld
- Any funds left over will be spent on vital cases just like this
For every financial contribution we receive from a new donor, this supporter has agreed to provide a matching donation.
That means any donation you make will be doubled, turbocharging our legal work around Adani’s Carmichael mine at a crucial time when the project is closer than ever to getting off the ground.