The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) today welcomed the Queensland government’s decision to prosecute Adani group company Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd in the Magistrates Court for breaching their licence to pollute right next to the Great Barrier Reef.
In March 2017, during Cyclone Debbie, the Adani company allegedly spilled more than 800% the allowable level of coal-laden water from their ocean discharge point on to the beach.
The company had been given a temporary licence to release 100 mg/l of suspended sediment (coal) during Cyclone Debbie, but according to an Adani report it released 806 mg/l.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection fined the company $12,190 for exceeding their licence. Adani have challenged the fine.
In February this year, media reports alleged that the original laboratory report showed a higher reading of 834 mg/l of coal-laden water had been released, a figure missing in the report Adani submitted to the Department.¹
“How can we trust this company with our Great Barrier Reef?” said Imogen Zethoven spokesperson for AMCS. “Its own report appears to show that it has breached environmental standards, but the company is now challenging those standards in Court.
“We welcome the Queensland government’s prosecution of Adani. It’s now time for both governments to go further. AMCS calls on the Queensland government to cancel Adani’s water licence and to rule out extinguishing Native Title for the mine. And we call on the federal government to revoke Adani’s Federal environmental approval.
“At full operations Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine would see hundreds more coal ships ploughing through the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Abbot Point would need a second coal terminal, requiring the dredging of 1 million cubic metres of seafloor, habitat for threatened turtles, dugongs and dolphins.
“Adani can’t be trusted to protect the Reef from a pollution spill from one coal terminal, let alone a second”, Ms Zethoven said.
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