GROUNDWATER CONCERNS: Protest group Lock the Gate have organised anti-Adani protest meetings in regional centres over concerns about Adani's access to ground water.
GROUNDWATER CONCERNS: Protest group Lock the Gate have organised anti-Adani protest meetings in regional centres over concerns about Adani's access to ground water. Contributed

Politicians face local backlash against Adani's water use

POLITICAL figures overseeing water usage for Adani's Carmichael coal mine have weighed in on polling results which show local community reservations.

Last month, conservation group Lock the Gate Alliance commissioned a Reachtel poll of 830 Capricornia residents revealing more than two-thirds supported government action to protect water resources.

The majority of respondents were in favour of all research being conducted before work commenced on the mine (73 per cent), cancelling Adani's water licences (66 per cent) and a federal government review of Adani's environmental approvals, including water approvals (64.5 per cent).

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Anthony Lynham noted that water licences provide the mine with a volume about 1 per cent of what farmers were able to use in the Burdekin catchment now.

 

HEAT'S ON: Minister Anthony Lynham is under scrutiny.
HEAT'S ON: Minister Anthony Lynham is under scrutiny. Rob Williams

READ: Capricornia polling backs strong oversight of Adani's water

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said she wouldn't trust a push poll from Lock The Gate "as far as I could throw it".

"Lock The Gate are running a campaign against the resources sector and the thousands of jobs the Galilee Basin promises to deliver Central Queenslanders, and their poll is designed to deliver the results they got," Ms Landry said.

"I will continue to back our local need for jobs, water, and infrastructure and leave the State Labor Government to pander to activists."

 

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry Leighton Smith

A spokesperson for the Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price sought to allay community concerns saying Adani was meeting its obligations.

"To date, the Carmichael project is subject to over 180 conditions - including those imposed in the Queensland Government's Environmental Authority - that take into account issues raised by the community and require the company to meet appropriate environmental standards," the spokesperson said.

"The impacts on water from the Carmichael mine have been assessed under the 'water trigger'.

"Impacts to water from the mine require active management through the conditions of approval which the department will monitor regularly.

"This includes a groundwater dependent ecosystems management plan, which must be approved by the minister as meeting the conditions before Adani can commence mining."

 

 

WATER FACTS: Adani Australia has published a number of documents explaining their approach to water with regards to their Carmichael coal mine project.
WATER FACTS: Adani Australia has published a number of documents explaining their approach to water with regards to their Carmichael coal mine project. Contributed

Dr Lynham said his government took environmental protections very seriously before reiterating that the Adani project needed to stack up on its own merits - financially and environmentally.

"The proposed Carmichael Mine has undergone extensive and rigorous approval processes at both the State and Commonwealth levels," Dr Lynham said.

"The Department of Environment and Science is currently reviewing the latest version of the groundwater dependent ecosystem management plan (GDEMP), which must identify the source aquifer of the Doongmabulla springs complex, and the black throated finch management plan (BTFMP).

"Significant disturbance cannot commence at the site until both plans are approved."

 

WATER FACTS: Adani Australia has published a number of documents explaining their approach to water with regards to their Carmichael coal mine project.
WATER FACTS: Adani Australia has published a number of documents explaining their approach to water with regards to their Carmichael coal mine project. Contributed

Dr Lynham said all Queensland water entitlements are based on the best available science, which considers both the environment and the specific needs of all users.

"In assessing the Carmichael Mine's water licence, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy spent almost two years undertaking a rigorous assessment, which included on-the-ground environmental assessments in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Science," he said.

 

WATER FACTS: Adani Australia has published a number of documents explaining their approach to water with regards to their Carmichael coal mine project.
WATER FACTS: Adani Australia has published a number of documents explaining their approach to water with regards to their Carmichael coal mine project. Contributed

"Multi-million dollar financial and regulatory safeguards and a stringent monitoring regime are now in place to manage water supply in and around the proposed Carmichael coal project.

"There are approximately 270 conditions on this project to protect the natural environment and the interests of landholders and traditional owners - more than 100 of these conditions relate to groundwater.

"Adani has to pay the government more than $20 million before they can use the surface water, and pay for it at a rate about three times what farmers currently pay in the lower Burdekin irrigation area," he said.

"Most importantly, the government has the ability to require a mine to stop operations if any of these licences are breached."



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