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Media Release: New Evidence over Adani Unlawful Activities

30 December, 2018

The Environmental Defenders Office Qld (EDO Qld) and our client Coast and Country1 have delivered fresh, persuasive evidence to the Queensland Government that Adani has broken the law by clearing land, constructing roads, and commencing dewatering operations without the correct approvals in place.

The evidence relates to a spate of construction work undertaken at Adani’s Carmichael mine site earlier this year, revealed in high definition satellite imagery, drone footage, public bore registers, and direct observations and photography.

It appears to confirm that Adani has begun undertaking significant ground disturbance by clearing over 5 hectares of their site and constructing access roads without the correct approvals. It also suggests the company has begun dewatering operations by illegally drilling dewatering bores and pumping water through them.

EDO Qld CEO Solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg said: “The new evidence we’ve presented to the Queensland Government is quite clear. It indicates Adani has undertaken a range of activities which we believe are in breach of its approvals.”

“Chief among these is the evidence Adani has begun significant ground disturbance by clearing over 5 hectares of their site and constructing access roads without the correct approvals.”

“The fresh evidence supplied to the Queensland Government includes the specific design and construction of the bores and their placement.”

“The evidence suggests they have begun dewatering operations by illegally drilling dewatering bores and pumping water through them. In our view that is not lawful under their current approvals.”

“These potentially trigger serious offences under the Environmental Protection Act which can in some cases carry jail terms.”

“Not only that, Adani have admitted that the annual return they provided to the government contained false information – this alone could attract criminal charges.”

“The Queensland Government needs to carefully assess the evidence we have provided and address each point we have raised – the site clearing, the road construction, the dewatering operations and the annual return.”

“If Adani has broken the law in any of these cases, the community would expect them to be prosecuted in the same way anybody else would be.”

“It’s telling that Adani’s response to this evidence has been to attack our client and our legal team with baseless smears. It fits a pattern of intimidation and diversionary tactics that the company is becoming infamous for.”

“In this case the evidence speaks for itself. Adani would be much better served by focussing their attention on complying with Queensland law rather than lashing out at those who stand up for it.”

Coast and Country spokesman Derec Davies said: “Our evidence is clear – Adani has been caught red-handed undertaking illegal construction work on their Carmichael coal mine, and lying about it in its Annual Return Notice to the Queensland Government.”

“The Government needs to step up and take action on this. The evidence is sound, Adani has broken the law, and their actions threaten the 1 million year old Doongmabulla Springs.”

“The community expects this matter to be dealt with promptly, and if Adani is found to have breached Queensland law we expect them to press criminal charges."

Media contacts

Anthony Gough, EDO Qld media – 0432 973 443

Derec Davies, Coast and Country – 0421 835 587

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Footnotes

1. Business Services of Coast and Country Inc.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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