Conservation group Coast and Country responded today to the judgment of the Land Court of Queensland in its case against Adani’s $16.5billion Carmichael coal mine, proposed for Central West Queensland's Galilee Basin.
Derec Davies of Coast and Country said, “The court found the Adani application for an environmental authority and mining lease be granted. The court has found the use of adaptive management to be a suitable platform for approval to mitigate the impact risks of the one million year old Doongmabulla Springs. Unfortunately this approach will not protect the endangered species and ecological communities from this massive mine”
Coast and Country objected to Adani's coal mine on the grounds of:
- impacts to groundwater and impact on the one million year old Doongmabulla Springs
- impacts to the largest remaining population of the Black Throated Finch, and the Waxy Cabbage Palm
- Adani's economic assessment and over-estimation of jobs and benefits to Queensland
- the mine’s carbon emission contribution to climate change, and impacts to the Great Barrier Reef.
Derec Davies of Coast and Country said, “The ultimate decision to approve or reject this mine is a political one. It sits now squarely with the Queensland Government.
“A matter of days ago, the world signed an historic climate deal that will end the age of coal. Carmichael is the planet’s third biggest coal mine. It would unleash more carbon than several countries and turbocharge global warming. It is the wrong mine on the wrong side of history.
“If Environment Minister Miles and Mines Minister Lynham approve Carmichael, their actions will be a travesty and a betrayal of all Queenslanders and the world community. They must now stand up for future generations. They should reject Carmichael, and keep its dangerous carbon pollution in the ground.
“The climate crisis also threatens our Great Barrier Reef. Coal-driven climate change has warmed our oceans, and a major coral bleaching event is predicted early in 2016. What government in its right mind would risk the reef by approving one of the world’s biggest coal mines on its doorstep? What government would sacrifice this natural wonder, the tens of thousands of jobs and multibillion dollar industry that depend on it, for a coal mine?
“Ministers Miles and Lynham must say yes to our Reef and no to Carmichael.
“This mine will have devastating environmental impacts locally in Queensland, obliterating the million year old Doongmabulla Oasis, destroying 12.5 billion litres of groundwater a year and likely pushing the endangered Black Throated Finch to the brink of extinction. Environment Minister Miles must do his job, which is to protect our fragile biodiversity and precious water supplies, and reject this mine”, said Mr Davies.
“This was never going to be an easy case”, Mr Davies continued, “but it was an important one. It was only through this case that the gross exaggerations Adani used to justify the mine were exposed – for example, the fact that Carmichael would destroy our environment for just 1464 jobs, not the 10,000 Adani claimed.
“When you look at the risks and costs of this disastrous project, versus its purported benefits, it just doesn’t make sense. There is simply no case for this mine to go ahead. The court has found Adani overstated its jobs claims and other elements of its economic values and has made reference of this directly to the Ministers,” said Davies
Mr Davies said, “This was always going to be a tremendous struggle. We are fighting against the combined forces of the foreign giant Adani, and the Australian and Queensland Governments – which seems to be doing everything in their power to prop up this disastrous mine with special treatment.
“Today’s decision is not a reflection of the case before the court, but of the laws within which it was judged. It demonstrates the failure of our laws and regulations in Australia to properly protect for future generations the things we value most – our land, water, climate and even our iconic Great Barrier Reef – from the aggressive expansion of big coal.
“We, like countless other Australians and many in the world community, will continue to stand up for our future and oppose the Adani Carmichael mine”, concluded Mr Davies.
Coast and Country is represented by lawyers from the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, an independent non-profit community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law.