Adani mine a step closer after Land Court decision
THE Land Court of Queensland has today recommended that Adani's planned Carmichael mine proceed, subject to additional conditions.
Conservation group Coast and Country challenged the proposed $16 billion coal mine and rail project in the Galilee Basin based on the impacts it would have on the local environment, including a endangered species of bird, the black-throated finch.
In a decision handed down today, Land Court president Carmel MacDonald recommended the state Environment Minister grant the mining lease with extra provisions.
The mine is said to already have some of the strictest conditions imposed of a project of its kind in Queensland.
In a post to the mining group's Facebook, Adani wrote that the company welcomed the decision.
"This significant decision recognises the thorough, science and evidence-based work Adani and its partners have undertaken over more than five years to demonstrate the company's commitment to complying with both Queensland and Australia's world's best practice environmental protections."
"The Carmichael mine is central to Adani's plans to deliver 10,000 direct and indirect jobs across its mine, rail and port projects, and $22 billion in taxes and royalties to Queensland over the half-life of the projects."
Meanwhile conservation group Coast and Country responded to the judgment of the Land Court of Queensland in its case against the mega mine.
"The court found the Adani application for an environmental authority and mining lease be granted," Derec Davies of Coast and Country said.
"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.
"The ultimate decision to approve or reject this mine is a political one. It sits now squarely with the Queensland Government."
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.
Envrionment activist group GetUp! also expressed dismay at the decision of the Queensland Land Court.
"The Carmichael coal mine will devastate our climate, our Great Barrier Reef, and our economy. The mine will spew out more carbon pollution than all the cars, planes and trains in Australia combined," GetUp's Queensland Campaigner Ellen Roberts said.
"It will drain 12 billion litres of precious groundwater per year. It will be built without the consent of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners."
"The Carmichael mine will hold back our economy and lock us into a dirty, polluting, out-of-date mine when the rest of the world is moving on to renewable power.
"In this landmark court case, over six weeks, the Land Court heard explosive evidence about how Adani had exaggerated the economic benefits of the mine.
"We heard about how the mine would only produce 1464 jobs, not 10,000 as originally claimed and continually repeated by Adani.
Derec Davies from environmental advocate group Coast and Country said it was disappointing for the mine to progress just days after the international community agreed on cutting emissions.
"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," he said.
"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."