Brisbane: The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and supporters are gathering this morning at 8.45am outside the Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane to demand that Adani withdraw its legal appeal against the Qld Environment Department.
The appeal is against the Department’s decision to require Adani to carry out an environmental investigation as a result of a coal-contaminated discharge at Abbot Point.
During Cyclone Debbie, the Qld Department of Environment and Heritage gave Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd (an Adani group company) a Temporary Emissions Licence to release higher levels of sediment (that could include coal) into the Caley Valley wetlands next to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area.
The Department subsequently required Adani to carry out an environmental investigation to look into the causes and impacts of the contaminated discharge into the Caley Valley wetlands.
Imogen Zethoven, AMCS Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director, said Adani is seeking to get the Court to initially stop the clock on the investigation, and then finally get out of doing it altogether.
“Adani is due to submit a review of its port’s water management strategy before Christmas and the pending wet season, but Adani doesn’t want to comply with the rules,” Ms Zethoven said.
“This investigation is important to ensure the Caley Valley wetlands are protected from any further coal spills and to ensure that Adani is made accountable under Australian environmental law.
“Adani was also given an infringement notice of $12,190 for breaching its Temporary Emissions Licence to discharge coal laden water to the Reef coast during Cyclone Debbie. Adani has elected to contest the fine.
“A ReachTEL survey conducted on the night of 24th October 2017 of 1,652 residents across Queensland found that found that 75% of Queenslanders thought that Adani should drop the court action and pay the fine,” Ms Zethoven said.
Adani has been fined $12,900 by the Queensland Department of the Environment for polluting the Reef coast with coal during Cyclone Debbie from the Abbot Point Port terminal it operates. Adani is now contesting the fine in court.
Should Adani drop the court action and pay the fine?
“The vast majority of Queenslanders are deeply concerned about Adani’s environmental record and the state of the Reef.
“It’s time Adani recognised that Queenslanders don’t trust the company, and don’t want Adani to damage the Reef,” Ms Zethoven said.
Available for media comment outside the Court: Shannon Hurley, AMCS Reef Campaigner 0433 481 346
To arrange interviews: Ingrid Neilson, AMCS Communications Manager, 0421 972 731
Adani’s application to stay the Department’s decision is listed for a directions hearing at 9:15am in Court 33 on Floor 8, Supreme Court complex at 415 George St, Brisbane.
EHP webpage for more detail/background here.
Environmental investigation notice here.
Planning and Environment Court file page here.
The Caley Valley wetlands are a nationally important wetland that can host more than 40,000 water birds during the wet season.