Analysis shows six proposed mines – including Adani’s Carmichael project – would disturb 155,491 hectares of land, 81,493 hectares of which would be completely cleared.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has backed the Queensland Government’s decision to reject Adani’s management plan for the Black-throated finch, arguing that management plans are where the rubber hits the road for threatened species and Adani’s proposed Galilee Basin coal mine would devastate critical habitat for the bird.
Analysis released today by ACF shows six of the coal mines planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin would disturb an area of land more than five times the size of Stradbroke Island and completely clear nearly 35,000 hectares of the Black-throated finch’s best remaining habitat.
The analysis found the six proposed mines – including Adani’s Carmichael project – would disturb 155,491 hectares of land, 81,493 hectares of which would be completely cleared.
The proposed Galilee Basin mines would disturb 50,977 hectares of black-throated finch habitat, 34,156 of which would be completely cleared.
“The black-throated finch is on the verge of extinction and these coal mines would totally destroy or degrade most of the high-quality finch habitat that’s left,” said Christian Slattery, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Stop Adani Campaigner.
“A recent scientific paper in Environmental Science and Policy journal set out how the endangered finch, which was once widespread across north-eastern Australia, is no longer found in 88 per cent of its former range.
“The area where Adani wants to dig the Carmichael mine is home to the largest known population of black-throated finches and some of the best remaining habitat.
“Adani says the approvals for its mine are subject to the strictest environmental conditions in history, but these conditions are only meaningful if they are backed by credible management plans. Adani has relentlessly attacked and undermined the scientists who conducted an expert review of its black-throated finch management plan.
“Scrutiny of these plans is essential, because management plans are where the rubber hits the road for environmental impacts.
“Extinction is forever – Adani must not be allowed to consign this bird to history. Already 29 Australian birds have gone extinct in the last 200 years.
“To prevent the extinction of the black-throated finch we need to stop ripping up its habitat for dirty new coal mines and companies like Adani should stop trying to discredit scientists.”
The analysis examined data from the Queensland Coordinator General and environmental impact statements relating to six proposed coal mines: Carmichael, China Stone, Kevin’s Corner, Alpha Coal Project (mine only), Galilee Coal Project (mine only) and South Galilee Coal Project. The analysis did not consider Clive Palmer’s Alpha North mine because it is too early in the assessment process to accurately quantify the damage it would do to the finch’s habitat. (Adani’s planned ‘conservation area’ for the finch is on the proposed Alpha North mine site.)