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Big Adani update

Posted by Christian Slattery, Australian Conservation Foundation.

Phew! There's so much going on with our Adani campaign, I wanted to make sure you’re all in the loop.

The good news is the coal is still in the ground. After nine years and numerous threats to start work, no-one has yet dug and burned the coal of the Galilee basin. Together, we are holding back one of the largest expansions of coal mining on planet Earth.

But the threat is real as Adani grows increasingly desperate to dig.

With people, livestock and wildlife suffering now from floods and fires, heating our planet by burning more coal is untenable.

And that’s why so many thoughtful, committed people have spoken out, donated, made submissions, and got active in local groups.

It’s a BIG campaign. Here’s a wrap of the news right now.

This beautiful finch is the canary in the coal mine

Ornithologist Stanley Tang collects data on the endangered Black-throated Finch. Photo: Ali Sanderson

Birdsong. Crystal clear water in ancient aquifers. Oceans teeming with fish and corals. We hold these things in trust for future generations of children and wildlife.

But Adani’s 'plan' to protect the endangered Black-throated Finch is grossly inadequate and the bird could be wiped out forever. Adani plans to bulldoze critical habitat – and then later on protect “offset” habitat elsewhere. Like on the site of Clive Palmer’s proposed coal mine.

That’s ridiculous.

By law, the Queensland government must approve a finch management plan before Adani can start digging. But an independent scientific review conducted by ecologists and environmental experts was critical of Adani’s plan. So now Adani is throwing a corporate tantrum.

Adani is putting huge pressure on the Queensland government, bombarding them with billboards and radio ads. The Murdoch press is cheering them on. Scientists wrote back with an open letter saying Adani's "relentless, sustained and defamatory" attacks on scientists undermines the role of science in decision-making.

It is critically important that the Queensland government stands firm against Adani’s bullying. If they feel like the community is with them, they will feel confident to follow proper process and listen to the experts.

Did the Minister ignore the public? Our court case might be getting bigger

Last year, ACF launched legal action to challenge the federal Environment Minister’s decision not to apply the ‘water trigger’ to Adani’s massive water-guzzling pipeline.

On top of this, we think there may now be an additional ground for appeal we can run in the case.This relates to how the Minister considered (or did not consider) public submissions. Whether this ground has legs depends on some information the Minister has so far refused to give us.

The court needs to decide if we can include this additional ground in our case. Tomorrow, we’ll be in court for an interlocutory hearing. If we are successful, you’ll be the first to know. 

Adani appears to have polluted the Caley Valley wetlands near the Great Barrier Reef

Shocking aerial images raise fresh questions about Adani’s polluted floodwater spill into sensitive wetlands.

Yep, you heard it right. As the big wet hit Queensland a few weeks ago, Adani appears to have spilled water polluted with coal sediment into the Caley Valley wetlands from their Abbot Point terminal.

Although Adani has not yet started to dig their Carmichael coal mine, they already own the Abbot Point terminal which ships coal from other Queensland mines.

We went up in a helicopter to survey the damage, and as you can see it was was pretty horrifying.

This is the second time in two years Adani has let polluted floodwater spill into our environment. Adani still faces court for previous coal pollution from Abbot Point into the Great Barrier Reef marine environment during Cyclone Debbie.

It’s clear Adani can’t be trusted to safely operate a coal port on a cyclone-prone coast, and it’s a bitter irony that Adani has blamed extreme weather for this spill. Burning coal from Adani’s proposed mine would only make climate damage worse.

We're shifting the politics

Despite these outrageous developments, we’re still waiting for the major parties to show some courage and rule out Adani’s polluting coal mine.

Labor are still on the fence. While Bill Shorten recently met with some of the kids striking from school to demand climate action, he stopped short of ruling out the mine.

Then there’s the Coalition, which originally approved the mine and even tried to give Adani $1 billion of public money to fund it. They haven’t met with the kids, even though over 20,000 people demanded they do.

With an election this year, all parties need to seriously step up.

That’s why we’re launching our climate election campaign hub this week in the Macnamara electorate in bayside Melbourne. The Coalition, the Labor party and the Greens are all contesting, and any party could win it, so they will be listening very closely to people who live there. It’s a great opportunity to raise stopping Adani as a key issue.

Ok. That was a lot, and I’m sure there will be so much more. I hope you are fired up for the crucial next phase of this campaign – one that we can’t afford to lose.

Speak again soon.


Christian Slattery Stop Adani campaigner

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