Contributed from Queensland
Those aware of how the Adani companies operate will not be surprised to find that the giant coal mine operation in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has just earned a multi-million dollar fine for discharging contaminated sediment water contaminated last month, at its Abbott Point terminal that had more than eight times the authorised level of pollutants.
Released water contained 806 miligrams of suspended solids per litre. The maximum allowed is 100 miligrams.
The location is near the Great Barrier Reef, which is already suffering from major bleaching, caused by the death of coral polyps. It is also near an important bird sanctuary.
The Queensland Environment Department had granted Adani a temporary emissions licence to allow the release of excess water, caused by heavy rain brought by Cyclone Debbie. The water was supposed to have been monitored to ensure that it is safe. Apparently, this was not done.
The Department has since confirmed the “non-compliant release”.
In response, Ian Macfarlane, chief of the mining industry’s Queensland Resources Council dismissed the incident as “fake news” manufactured by the ABC and Fairfax.
But the details of the contamination are recorded in documents handed over by the mine to the Department that further investigation is to take place, on this basis, cannot be explained away so easily.
Campaigners against the mine and terminal have warned all along of the risk of pollution and the associated threat to the Great Barrier Reef. They have also warned that Adani’s track record does not provide grounds for confidence.
Despite this, the project has been taken up enthusiastically by the Queensland and Federal governments, as well as some who have been convinced that it means an economic windfall.
Adani has been careful to cultivate his supporters, including giving gifts and organising junkets to India.
However, public opinion has been turning. One by one the banks are turning off finance, because they recognise that involvement will displease an important part of their customer base and could potentially harm their businesses.
It is now beyond all doubt that Adani and his companies should not be allowed to operate in Australia.
Ongoing Queensland and national government support cannot be justified under any pretense and it is time that this was put to an end. If it is not, these governments should be held accountable for the damage and deserve to be regarded as corrupt.
These are further reasons to continue the campaign to put a stop to this madness, once and for all.