Contributed by Ben Wilson
On Tuesday, the Federal Court ruled that coal tycoon Adani was wrongly allowed to access water for the Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland. the permission was based on an official’s assessment that the elated North Galilee Water Scheme was not connected to large scale coal mining development.
The mine was given the go ahead to harvest 12.5 gigalitres of water from the Suttor River each year.
But how could this be? The water was planned to be pumped 110 kilometres and directly to the mine. This has he markings of deliberate wrongdoing.
By pretending it was not related to coal, the potential for harmful “significant impact” on water resources could be ignored.
Justice Melisa Perry ruled that the person concerned had made an “error of law” in assessing that there was no connection between the water scheme and coal mining.
Approval for the water use by Adani was set aside and sent back for the approval process to start again. The Federal Government and Adani were ordered to pay costs.
This brings another delay in the expansion of Carmichael’s operations.
The Environmental Defenders Office, which had taken up the case, said in a released statement from its Chief Executive Kelly O’Shanassy.
“It’s a win for regional communities and farmers who depend on reliable flows of river water in our drought-prone landscape. It will set a new precedent that essential infrastructure for coal seam gas and large coal mining projects must be assessed under our national environment law.”
Adani, which now calls itself Bravus says it is considering its options. Recently rebranded its Australian operation to Bravus, said it was considering its options on the progression of the water scheme.
The setback has not put an end to the mine’s expansion. But it does help strengthen the case of its opponents, who continue to pursue Adani at every point. The public is with them. Investors are wary.
Australia does not need to be building new coal mines. It is a major contributor to carbon creation and therefore the warming of the planet. In addition, this is a dying industry and tying our future into it is a dead end