We won. The Morrison Government has just conceded defeat in our court case against its assessment of Adani’s plans to suck-up billions of litres of Queensland’s water.

Just days before our court case was due to kick off, they’ve admitted they didn’t properly consider crucial material: over 2,000 public submissions from people all across the country. And it turns out they actually lost an unknown number more. Their decision making process was a complete farce.

Government decision makers have a fundamental obligation to carefully consider all materials, especially when assessing gigantic projects that will suck billions of litres of groundwater from this drought-stricken continent.

The Morrison Government failed to apply their own laws and they’ve learned – in no uncertain terms – ignoring the people has very real consequences. Our voices were loud and together we won.

This victory is a vindication for the right of people to be heard and represented. It is not acceptable for big corporations and coal billionaires to bully governments into disregarding the laws of our country.

Thank you to all of the incredible people who donated to fund this case. It was a victory funded solely by them.

Thank you to all of the incredible people who signed petitions, wrote submissions and raised their voice. If it wasn’t for them this would never have happened. Advocacy matters.

And thank you to our amazing legal team at the Environment Defenders Office Queensland, without whom cases like this wouldn’t get off the ground.

What’s next?

We know the government won’t back down – they’ll come back. They have made it clear they will bend over backwards to support this mine. The fight isn’t over.

The Morrison government’s pipeline assessment process was a fundamental failure in application of the law. It was a willful disregard of our voices. It’s typical of the shoddy processes and special treatment they’ve given this mine all along.

We can expect they will push through the approvals again. But now, they are forced to go back to the drawing board on the pipeline assessment. The government will be required to redo the public submissions process.

When governments fail to apply the law we will step in and hold them accountable.

And this is a warning to any corporation considering digging a climate-wrecking, nature-trashing, water-guzzling mine.

We will scrutinise every plan, every process, every decision.

We’ll look at every legitimate option to stop this mine. We won’t give up. And we need your help more than ever.

When bad decisions are made on coal and climate, we will litigate. We know it works. 

In return, we won’t be quiet. We won’t back down. When opportunities arise, we’ll seize them.

This is our promise.

Please be a part of it and contribute to our legal fund today so we can make this happen.

Kelly O’Shanassy

CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation.