I for one was beginning to think Bob Brown was wasting his time with the Stop Adani convoy. The plan is to leave Hobart for the Galilee Basin tomorrow, April 17.
I (stupidly) assumed, with the weight of science behind it, the argument against the Carmichael mine would see the venture stopped once and for all.
For starters, the name of the area is the clue – it’s the Galilee Basin – it’s a basin, it holds water. It encompasses the headwaters of seven major river basins and includes aquifers that are a part of the Great Artesian Basin. What could be simpler? We are the driest continent. There is precious water in the vicinity. Leave it alone.
Turns out I am a fool – foolish to believe that our leaders care about water. Or people. Or the future.
Two weeks ago the federal government gave permission for a groundwater management plan for the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine. In effect, they gave the project the go ahead, the green light, the ol’ thumbs upperino. GOOD GOD!
Hands up who thinks this is a great idea? Look around – there aren’t many who think this is even a mildly ok idea, yet here we are, standing on the brink of disaster, not to even mention the nail in the coffin for the Great Barrier Reef – which will suffer under the burden of the coal ships passing through it and will die yet another death when that coal is burned.
In late 2018 and early 2019 CSIRO and Geoscience Australia (GA) wrote two reports for the federal government on specific questions on groundwater monitoring, management and modelling planned by Adani for its Carmichael mine proposal in central Queensland.
The CSIRO identified inadequacies in the plans
Speaking for the CSIRO, executive director for environment, energy and water, Dr Peter Mayfield said this advice was limited to answering discrete inquiries on whether elements of Adani’s proposed plans would be adequate to protect nationally significant environmental assets. Mayfield said the CSIRO identified inadequacies in the plans and were subsequently asked to review Adani’s response to the recommendations they made to address the issues raised, as summarised by the Department of the Environment and Energy. Adani had committed to address the modelling limitations identified by the CSIRO and GA review in a groundwater model re-run to be undertaken within two years.
CSIRO considered that this commitment satisfied its recommendations, while also acknowledging there were still some issues that need to be addressed in future approvals, particularly confirming the source of the ecologically-important Doongmabulla Springs.
Mayfield said the CSIRO has provided robust, peer-reviewed science on specific groundwater modelling-related questions about the plans.
CSIRO also reminds us its role is to provide scientific advice to inform approval processes, but it does not have any role in making approval decisions. One wonders if they approve.
Too bad – if they didn’t, maybe the project would still be gathering dust on a shelf.
Queensland’s environment minister, Leeanne Enoch says that the state government received the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia advice just half an hour before it was made public.
The Saturday Paper reported that the advice arrived in Brisbane by email at 10.51am. An updated version of Adani’s groundwater management plan arrived at 11.08am, the Melissa Price issued her media release, containing a web link to the advice, at 11.18am.
Lucky Adani just happened to be prepared for that.
Australia and Australians will be the ones to suffer
The really crappy part in this is that Australia and Australians will be the ones to suffer, and then Indians once they start choking on fumes from our coal. The federal environment minister Melissa Price will be long gone with a pocket full of money and a huge super fund from her time in parliament by the time the government is called to account for this heinous action. Maybe she just doesn’t like humans. Or the future.
What’s even more crappy is that Price’s announcement was made just a couple of days before ScoMo’s election announcement – then everyone packed up their mistress and lunch box and went home for the holidays while ‘caretakers’ hold the fort.
So, what to do?
Bob’s convoy leaves Tassie tomorrow. From there it will stop in Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga, Sydney and Coffs Harbour before arriving for a rally in Mullumbimby at the Showgrounds at 2pm on Easter Sunday. Meet them along the way, travel with them if your life allows it. The convoy plans to be in the Galilee area the following Sunday before taking another route back to Canberra to protest on May 5.
They don’t care that no one will be home. They will be heard.
For more information on the rally, visit: The Bob Brown Foundation website.