One of the most controversial development proposals in the last few years is the Carmichael coal mine, proposed by Indian mining firm Adani in 2010. Once built, the mine would be the largest in Australia, producing mostly “low quality, high ash” coal to ship for export. While you may have seen innumerable #StopAdani signs, bumper stickers and protests, the political move towards a green light has been steadily trucking on.
Well today, we have news that one of the final hurdles needed to go ahead has been cleared. Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price, has released a statement announcing the approval of groundwater management plans. All that remains is a few last approvals and the final go-ahead from the Queensland Government, and construction can begin.
Environment Minister Melissa Price has signed off on Adani’s groundwater management plan (amid serious pressure from QLD colleagues). The project still needs to obtain another 9 approvals before it can get off the ground #auspol #Adani pic.twitter.com/vCjH96yhKf
— Jane Norman (@janeenorman) April 9, 2019
While there are still some more approvals needed, the groundwater management plan is one of the last major ones.
A little background on the issue and why so many people are passionate about it: the Carmichael coal mine, if allowed to go ahead, will be the biggest mine in Australia’s history. Not only that, but also one of the biggest in the world. Stationed inland of the Great Barrier Reef, environmentalists are gravely concerned about the effect the mine would have on our fragile ecosystem.
So What’s The Cost?
According to the Stop Adani website, the project poses several threats to Australia, both culturally and ecologically.
“If built, Adani’s mine, rail and port project will:
- Destroy the ancestral lands, waters and cultures of Indigenous people without their consent.
- Allow 500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year for 60 years.
- Get access to 270 billion litres of Queensland’s precious groundwater for 60 years, for free.
- Risk damaging aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.
- Add 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution to our atmosphere.”
In a time when we need to be leaning away from non-renewable energy, this is a massive blow. As Australia strays further from putting in place environmentally conscious energy plans, we only continue to compound the issues facing the environment.
Image source: Stop Adani, Twitter (@GreyPowerEarth)