Farmers urge caution as Adani advances

Farmers for Climate Action cautious on Adani's Carmichael Mine impacts


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A stop Adani protest sign outside the proposed site of the Carmichael mine.

A stop Adani protest sign outside the proposed site of the Carmichael mine.

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Calls for studies to consider combined impact of mines on groundwater.

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Queensland needs to fully appreciate how coal mining will deplete precious water reserves before Adani and others plough ahead in the Galilee Basin, Farmers for Climate Action says. 

On Thursday Adani announced it was forging ahead with its controversial Carmichael coal mine, dashing lingering uncertainty by confirming it would foot all project bills itself. 

The Adani project could open to the door to other mining companies eyeing up the Galilee Basin by developing much-needed infrastructure such as a railway line. 

Angus Emmott, a western Queensland cattle grazier and Farmers for Climate Action board member, said political players needed to take a long-term view when it came to mining in the basin. 

"As graziers we are totally dependent on water from the Great Artesian Basin in this part of the world," he said. 

"The big issue with not just Adani, but the whole Galilee Basin development, is that it sits right on the recharge zone of the Great Artesian Basin."

To properly grasp the effects of mining in the Galilee Basin, a cumulative water impact assessment considering the combined impacts of all projects had to be completed, Mr Emmott said.

"Once one mine gets up, there are others waiting in the wings getting ready to start. 

"We need to understand issues of groundwater, impacts to the recharge zone, and impacts on other surface water sources. 

"The cumulative water impact study is just crucial."

Other potential coal mining projects in the Galilee Basin include Waratah Coal's Alpha North mine, GVK Hancock's Alpha Coal project and MacMines' China Stone project.

Grazier and FCA board member Angus Emmott stressed the need to understand cumulative water impacts.

Grazier and FCA board member Angus Emmott stressed the need to understand cumulative water impacts.

Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow announced the company would self-finance the Carmichael project during a meeting of mining industry players at the Bowen Basin Mining Club. 

The revised plan is substantially smaller to what Adani had initially proposed for the Carmichael mine in central Queensland. 

“Our work in recent months has culminated in Adani Group’s approval of the revised project plan that de-risks the initial stage of the Carmichael mine and rail project by adopting a narrow gauge rail solution combined with a reduced ramp up volume for the mine,” Mr Dow said. 

"The project stacks up both environmentally and financially.”

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan enthusiastically welcomed the announcement, trumpeting Indian mining giant Adani as a "little Aussie battler". 

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy condemned the news.

"Make no mistake. Many on both sides of politics understand burning the coal from the Adani mine and the broader Galilee Basin will be terribly damaging for our climate," she said. 

"This financing announcement means ignorance, denial or avoidance are no longer viable. The only responsible response is to stop Adani and keep Galilee Basin coal in the ground."

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