On October 31 Adani announced new plans to start work “within weeks” on a scaled down version of the original project. Essentially, the company is desperate to start digging before the federal election, to make finance easier and make it more difficult for civil society to stop them.
This means the struggle between forces for good and for evil is intensifying regarding Adani, and ARRCC is calling on people of faith to be ready to take action alongside others in the broader environment movement. This is no time to be giving up, indeed it is the moment for action. Convinced already? See We All Live Here.
Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said the company was "very close" to announcing the final investment decision. Rather than building a new rail line, the idea is to connect to Aurizon's existing coal rail network, and also to advance the project in two or three staged, "bite-sized chunks". According to Mr Dow, this approach would "shrink the upfront capital by more than 60 per cent”.
Adani plans to export an initial 10 to 15 million tonnes a year, with a capacity to expand up to 27 million tonnes - less than half of what the company planned when it first proposed the project in October 2010, but making it more feasible and possible for them to fund themselves.
Mr Dow would not be drawn on the announcement of the final investment decision but it is understood it could be within weeks. Adani is keen to control the timing of the announcement and is keen to give the green light before the end of the year to avoid being dragged into next year's federal election.
According to the company, they are expecting to create 1500 direct jobs for the construction of the mine and railway, as well as initiating production. This is likely to be a much-inflated number and research is being done to fact-check this.
At some time soon, they are going to want cameras and journalists showing trucks and workers busy, to give the impression they are providing jobs and they are confident of the viability of their project.
They want this proven before the election. They may want to use the lull over Christmas to forge ahead. The Adani family brags that they have never abandoned a project, and so it's a matter of pride for them.
Wangan and Jagalingou struggle to protect country
The W & J are appealing the Federal Court decision in August which recognised Adani’s problematic Indigenous Land Use Agreement. The ILUA was only made possible by changes to Native Title legislation and a mix of coercion and inducements on some members of the W & J, which meant that their earlier collective decision to say “no” was overturned. Hear Adrian Burragubba speak about this in this video clip.
This means the W & J are potentially subject the Queensland Government extinguishing Native Title so work on the mine site on their country can go ahead. This means sacred sites will be destroyed, and a continuation of our shameful history of dispossession and disregard for Aboriginal people, starting 230 years ago.
Senior Counsel advice is that the Queensland Government is not obliged to wipe out native title.
As Ms Linda Bobongie, a chairperson of the Traditional Owners Council, bravely says: “We know the Queensland Government has no obligation to act on extinguishment for Adani. They should wait until all our appeals are exhausted. …. Our Council has vowed to continue to defend our lands and waters from Adani’s destruction.
“We call on Adani to immediately withdraw from this damaging project on our land. No administrative decisions that block our rights will stop us standing our ground to defend and protect Wangan and Jagalingou Country and our connection to it. We do not consent to a mine that will destroy our culture and land, and rob our people of a sustainable future, so a rich company can get richer exploiting and burning the coal beneath our feet”.
The W & J are calling on the Queensland Government to rule out extinguishing native title in any part of their land.
Will you help by contacting one of these key decision-makers and telling them not to extinguish our native title before the W & have had the chance to appeal?
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk - (07) 3719 7000 - [email protected]
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad - (07) 3719 7100 - [email protected]
Adani and water
To build and run its proposed Carmichael mine, Adani wants to extract water from the Suttor River in central Queensland for up to 60 years, expand a dam there and build a 60 km pipeline to transport water to its mine.
But Adani argued that "water trigger" only applied if the water was used in the extraction of the coal, and that the water they would take from this river would not be used that way, but instead for practices like washing coal and dust management.
The Adani Carmichael project has received an associated water licence and surface water licence from the Queensland Government; both granted on 29 March 2017. What are these licenses for?
The Environmental Defenders Office explains that ‘associated water licence’ grants Adani the right to take or interfere with groundwater through dewatering the mining pit. This licence has no volumetric cap; allowing essentially unlimited take of groundwater. It is expected that Adani may require up to 9.5 billion litres of groundwater every year for the Carmichael project.
The ‘surface water licence’ grants Adani a nominal entitlement to extract 12,500 ML per year from the Suttor River.
There are no community rights to appeal the merits of the decisions to grant the associated water licence for the Adani Carmichael project.
Due to a last minute carve out passed in water reform legislative amendments last year (see below for further details), the community can no longer challenge the merits of the associated water licence for the Adani Carmichael mine.
In September 2018 the Federal Government made the decision that a full environmental impact assessment would not be required. It accepted Adani’s argument that the “water trigger” should only apply to the extraction of coal and that they would be needing water for such practises as the washing of coal and dust management. The Environment Department only requires “preliminary documentation”. However, their own manual states that this approach should only be used when public concern about the proposal is “low”.
The ABC pointed out that farmers are subject to tighter restrictions than Adani. In the meantime, 57% of Queensland is drought declared.
Please call on the Queensland Government to revoke Adani’s water licenses.
Adani can’t be trusted.
Adani has been caught polluting sensitive wetlands and is now before the courts for polluting the Great Barrier Reef. They are currently being investigated for illegal drilling into groundwater at the mine site. They continue to lie about job numbers. Adani has a long history of unethical behaviour with the government of India accusing them of theft of billions of dollars from the poor of India and can’t be trusted to obey laws, here or there. Adani Group companies have an appalling record of environmental destruction and prosecutions overseas, including illegal dealings, bribery, and face allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
See in these two video clips how people are being treated in India.
- Adani power plant officials have started digging into standing rice crops of Adivasis people in Godda, Jarkhand State, for the construction of their plant. Women are openly grieving and kissing an official’s feet begging him not to destroy their rice fields
- Your company bulldozing homes of Adivasis people in Godda, Jharkhand State:
Adani and the Reef
The Great Barrier reef is a natural wonder, a gift and our responsibility to protect as Australians who care. Already rising water temperatures have bleached swathes of the Reef and a coming El Nino is increasing the likelihood of further bleaching events this summer. The proposed added coal exports from the Galilee Basin spells death for the Reef, not only from the emissions caused overseas but the signal we send to the rest of the world. That is, as a wealthy country yet very vulnerable to climate impacts and natural wonders to lose, we are still not prepared to make sacrifices to protect the world’s climate.
Adani and the climate
The mining, burning and export of coal is Australia’s biggest contribution to climate change, more so than domestic consumption. We are now the largest exporter of coal globally. The latest UN IPCC report (released in October 2018) says coal must be phased-out urgently if we are to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.
We are providing support and a comprehensive toolkit for people of faith who wish to take action in their own electorates in the lead-up to the federal election. The campaign, We All Live Here, leverages people’s concerns about Adani’s Carmichael mine and rail project to put climate as the central issue for this election. ARRCC provides three or four uncomplicated steps you can take in your own area, and the basic resources to take those steps.
For anyone interested in joining peaceful civil resistance actions, contact [email protected]