Just days before it calls a federal election, the Morrison government has approved the groundwater management plan for Adani.
But this is not the end by any measure. The mine still requires approvals for its groundwater management plan and its plan to protect the endangered black-throated finch from the Queensland Government who appear to be holding a more rigorous scientific process.
The only way to ensure the black-throated finch and the incredibly important groundwater systems are protected is to ensure the Adani coal mine never proceeds.
Adani cannot be trusted. They have just received yet another fine for polluting the Great Barrier Reef. Their record on the environment and human rights in India is of great concern. And the proposed mine would directly damage freshwater reserves in an area of extreme drought where graziers and other landholders are heavily dependent on their groundwater.
Adani hopes to take up to 12.5 billion litres of water, 5000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, from the Suttor River in central Queensland, a river that floods and dries up at different times and on which graziers and wetlands rely.
Australia’s pre-eminent scientific body the CSIRO, raised significant concerns about the limitations of Adani’s groundwater management plan, including that it may have lowballed the amount of groundwater drawdown that will occur and the continued uncertainty about the source aquifer of the Doongmabulla Springs.
This decision by the federal government demonstrates its commitment to the coal mining industry. The federal government has the power to protect our environment, our water and our regions.
The federal opposition needs to commit to ensure all federal approvals are reviewed and that, if there are deficiencies found, they will use their powers in government to halt this mine. Many Australians believe this mine should never happen and the coming federal election will be a real test for both major parties.