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August 4, 2021

Did environment minister strong arm CSIRO over Adani approvals?

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Calls for the resignation of environment minister Melissa Price and the revoking of the Adani Carmichael coalminers groundwater approval are increasing. This follows the release of documents to the ABC that show the federal environment department may have pressured the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia to approve a plan that they judged to be deeply flawed and likely to result in Adani breaching its conditions of approval.

GetUp environmental justice campaign director Sam Regester called on Scott Morrison to revoke Adani’s approval and for Price to resign immediately.

‘The government strong-armed scientists to endorse Adani’s plan, despite the irreversible damage the coal mine could have on drought-stricken Queensland,’ he said.

Handwritten notes provided to the ABC from senior scientists who reviewed the Adani groundwater plans reveal that their advice was not ‘accepted in full’ as previously stated by Ms Price. In fact in some instances Adani had refused to accept the scientists concerns and commit to corrective action.

While Adani acknowledged that the model Adani used to estimate the mine’s impacts was not fit for purpose they would not agree to corrective action if the new model showed greater impacts on the environment than Adani had claimed would occur.

‘From start to finish, this entire process has been rotten to its core. Adani’s cheerleaders in Parliament have bullied, blustered and now lied for this rotten mine,’ said Mr Regester. 

‘Nothing will stop them. Not science. Not the precious groundwater at serious risk. Not proper process. Not Adani’s seeming inability to follow the law.

‘There is nothing about this process that doesn’t reek of undue influence and cronyism.

‘If Scott Morrison had a shred of credibility, he’d revoke Adani’s approval and ask for Minister Price’s immediate resignation.

‘The Labor Party must immediately commit to reviewing the whole approval, it’s the only responsible thing to do.’

Labor review

Local Greens candidate for Richmond Michael Lyon has said he would support a Labor led review of the Adani approval process if he was elected.

Government interference in independent bodies’ decision-making has been going on for far too long and needs to stop,’ he told Echonetdaily.

Local Labor member for Richmond Justine Elliot has previously stated in parliament that she has concerns over the Adani coal mine.

‘Over the past three years, I’ve publicly raised in many forums my personal opinion, which is that I’m opposed to the Adani coalmine going ahead, and I share the community’s concerns about the potential environmental harm to the Great Barrier Reef and other areas that could follow on. As I’ve also made clear to the local Stop Adani group, there are various views throughout the community and the country about the Adani mine. It’s also important to acknowledge that. I’ve made a commitment to the group that, as their local federal MP, I’d raise their concerns in parliament and present their petitions. So I now present their petitions to the Chamber’, said Mrs Elliot at that time.

In response to Echonetdaily on the issue of reviewing the Adani approval process she said, ‘Labor has been clear, if there are decisions to be made, we’ll make them on the best available information and in accordance with the law. We won’t rip up contracts or create any kind of sovereign risk.’

‘There are a number of approvals and conditions still required for this project.  Unlike the Liberals and Nationals, Labor doesn’t support spending taxpayers’ money subsidising multinationals to open new coal mines,’ she said.

Stop Adani convoy

Bob Brown is leading an stop Adani convoy that left Tasmania yesterday with 80 cars and is hitting Melbourne today. They are making their way up the coast to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change and the devastating impact that approving the Adani Carmichael mine will have both nationally and internationally.

They will arrive in Mullumbimby on Easter Sunday for a rally at the Mullumbimby showgrounds at 2pm where they will be swelled by locals who plan to join the convoy.

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. These Federal ‘bully brats’ deserve to be found out
    & dealt with. Thank the elements for the ABC’s
    watchdog knowhow.

  2. If this disastrous proposal is being supported by the Liberal Nationals as a mechanism to provide jobs in rural QLD, why don’t they support a Solar Thermal power plant or other in the region. The proposed Adani mines, and the others that have been approved are an international disgrace at a time when extreme weather events are happening at increasing rates.

    I’m not sure why Federal Labor (except for Justine Elliott) won’t come out and call it as it is.

  3. It seems odd that the letters from CSIRO and Geoscience Australia, at face value, say that their concerns about environmental impact have been addressed, when there are also clear concerns within the organisations that their objections are not properly dealt with. Why were those letters sent to the Minister/Department?

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