Adani’s decision to pay a small $13,055 fine when storm water from its coal port rushed into nationally significant wetlands is yet another reason to reject the company’s plans for a major coal mine, the Australian Marine Conservation Society says.
The Adani group will pay the Queensland government fine for exceeding its licence to pollute at its coal port on the Great Barrier Reef coastline on 7 February 2019.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says the fine would be miniscule compared to the group’s political donations or its public relations campaign to push its mine through in Queensland and political donations made to Liberals, Nationals and One Nation.
Dr Lissa Schindler, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaigner, said: “To put that $13,055 fine in context, Adani is paying less than a quarter of what it donated to the Liberals and Nationals since the last election and less than half what it has donated to One Nation.”
“Let’s also not forget the huge amounts of money Adani is putting into advertising and letterboxing in Queensland to try desperately to push through its mine.
“It turns out it was a lot cheaper for Adani to cop a small fine than it was to have done the full amount of work needed on its port so that this didn’t happen in the first place. It is not like cyclones are new to Queensland.”
“We only have one Great Barrier Reef. Let’s not risk its future by allowing big mining conglomerates like the Adani Group to go ahead with risky and damaging projects.”
Adani was fined for releasing water polluted with almost double the allowable total suspended solids (TSS) from its Abbot Point coal port into the neighbouring Caley Valley Wetlands on 7 February. The nationally significant wetlands sit beside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Schindler added: “As climate change worsens, extreme weather events are only set to increase in Queensland, and burning the coal from Adani’s mine would accelerate them further.”
Adani is also under investigation for illegal works at its mine site and its Federal approval for a groundwater management plan has been cast into serious controversy.
Reports published by the ABC on 18 April revealed Adani had refused to accept scientists’ concerns that the company’s water modelling was not appropriate and that new modelling could show the mine’s impacts would breach its environmental approvals. The approval was passed anyway.
“We have strong concerns for the way the Adani group is already operating in Australia. Time and time again the Adani group has shown it cannot be trusted with Australia’s precious environment and our World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. “
Schindler said this was the second pollution breach that has occured at its port since 2017.
Adani is currently being prosecuted by the Queensland Government for a 2017 pollution breach when it spilt water loaded with coal dust and other particles at levels more than 800 per cent the allowable limits.