The Environment Minister has bowed to blackmail from within her own party and ignored scientific and community concerns about water, to tick off Adani’s dodgy groundwater management plan.
“It’s now up to Labor to come out and say whether they will join the Greens and stop Adani, by committing to reconsider the mine approvals should they form government,” Greens spokesperson for mining, co-deputy leader and Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters said.
“The Liberals have once done the bidding of the coal-loving climate deniers which dominate their party.
“This election is a referendum on climate action, and the Liberals have shown themselves to be stuck in the past and with their hands in the pocket of Big Coal. Will they return the $35,000 Adani donated to them last financial year?
“The heat is now on Shorten’s Labor – they need to finally get off the fence and say where they stand on approving Adani’s climate-destroying, Reef-bleaching and job-destroying coal mine.”
Senator Waters, a former environmental lawyer, said documents from the CSIRO and GeoScience Australia criticise Adani’s modelling as “not suitable”, and note that a much greater drawdown of groundwater is likely. And yet the Minister has ignored that scientific advice under political pressure from her own party.
“Farmers have been in deep drought in that region, for years. Now the so-called Environment Minister has ticked off on allowing Adani to suck billions of litres of groundwater to further imperil farmers’ water supply and the health of local ecosystems,” Senator Waters said.
“Minister Price taking into account political pressure from Senator McGrath and ignoring scientific concerns from GeoScience Australia and CSIRO are both grounds for legal challenge to the validity of the decision. They’ve shot themselves in the foot and now there could be more legal delays to this mine – which the Greens welcome, as it should never have been approved in the first place.
“There is no climate plan if you don’t have a plan to deal with the emissions from the 80% of Australian coal that is exported. The Greens have a plan for a $1 billion transition for coal communities, to increase regional jobs and look after workers and their towns.
“The major political parties just want to ignore the global decline in coal demand because they take the millions from the coal mining companies in political donations.
“Regional Queensland needs real jobs that last – not fake jobs and false promises from Adani, which has already been caught out grossly exaggerating jobs figures and which has also been crowing to the stock market about automating the mine from pit to port.
“If I am re-elected at the next election – whenever our public-money wasting, power-hungry PM calls it for, I will immediately move to bring on my private members bill to Stop Adani, by forcing a review of their repeated breaches of conditions to show they are not ‘fit and proper’ under our environmental laws to go ahead with this dangerous project.”
Senator Waters said the mine cannot operate without one further federal approval for a water pipeline to wash dirty coal, which is halfway through the assessment process and already being challenged in court for not properly considering water impacts. Further approvals from the Queensland Government are also needed before the mine could legally proceed.