I won’t beat around the bush. Our campaign to stop Adani just got a whole lot more complicated.

The Morrison Government won the election with no plan to end digging up and burning coal.

But we’ve been here before. No-one ever said that taking on nature-wrecking corporations in the most profitable industry in history would be easy.

Right now, Adani and the Murdoch press are trying to spin the election result as some sort of resurgence for love of coal.

We call rubbish. The vast majority of Australians know there is no future for coal. There’s just a handful of billionaires trying to make more money at the expense of everyone else’s children.

Adani’s mine would open the Galilee Basin to eight more climate-wrecking coal mines. If they all went ahead, it would be the biggest expansion of coal mining on planet Earth. And burning coal is the worst cause of climate damage.

Clive Palmer, Gautam Adani and Gina Rinehart are selling false hope to regional communities. The reality?

Coal is on the way out. It’s a collapsing industry without a future. Don’t just take it from us. Last week BHP said burning coal will be phased out “sooner than we think.” China Stone put their proposed coal mine next to Adani’s on hold. And a new report says global investment in coal tumbled by 75% in just three years.

But for Adani, they have too much invested already to give up on the mine. And they’re sniffing out more public subsidies to make their mine scrape through. They are dead-set on digging and burning that coal.

They’re happy to trample the rights of Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners who are in court today challenging Adani’s Indigenous Land Use Agreement.

In the coming weeks, the Queensland government will choose – let Adani destroy wildlife and water – or not.

There are two critical approvals the Queensland government just set deadlines for – management plans for endangered wildlife and water. Adani’s previous plans were rejected as inadequate by scientists and the Queensland government.

The water plan was waved through under political pressure by the Federal Environment Minister on election eve, but now must be signed off by the Queensland government.

This Friday, the Queensland government will choose the fate of the finch. Let a billionaire bulldoze the last remaining habitat of the endangered Black-Throated Finch? Or protect this beautiful bird, and everything it symbolises as the “canary in the coal mine”?

Adani’s plan is to destroy critical finch habitat, and then later on protect “offset” habitat on the site of billionaire Clive Palmer’s proposed new mine. That’s the man who decided to, in his words, “polarise the electorate” by dropping $60 million on advertising during the federal election campaign.

On 13 June, the Queensland government will choose to approve or reject Adani’s water management plan.


The Doongmabulla Springs near Adani's proposed mine site. Photo: Ali Sanderson

Adani’s Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP) is supposed to protect vital ecosystems – like the Doongmabulla Springs near Adani’s proposed mine site. But expert water scientists have raised serious concerns about Adani’s plans to suck billions of litres of water from Queensland’s precious inland aquifers.

The mining giant plans to drain 12.5 billion litres of precious river water every year, nearly as much as all local farmers combined. It threatens ancient springs – 160 wetlands that provide permanent water during drought. It would also leave behind six unfilled coal pits that would drain millions of litres of groundwater forever.

It’s bad enough that the federal government rushed through this dodgy plan on the eve of the election. But with 65% of Queensland suffering through a worsening drought, for the Queensland government to approve it would be a travesty.

On 18-19 June, ACF will take on the Environment Minister in the federal court.

In our crowd-funded court case, ACF is challenging the federal government because we believe it broke its own laws over the water-guzzling pipeline Adani needs for its climate-wrecking mine. We will also challenge whether the Minister properly considered thousands of public submissions, as required by the law.

We think we have a chance of winning.

I have to be honest with you though that the bad news is that, even if we win, the Minister can re-approve the pipeline by following the “proper process,” which under Australia’s weak current environmental laws, has only weak checks on the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. Under current laws, the Minister does not even have to consider climate change.

I’m sorry I can’t be the bearer of better news. But Adani can’t start digging yet. And our elected representatives’ decisions on water, the finch and climate pollution have consequences.

Birdsong. Crystal clear water in ancient aquifers. Oceans teeming with fish and corals. We hold these things in trust for future generations of children and wildlife. They matter.

To take on the nature-wrecking corporations and the coal industry, people everywhere need to get off the sidelines. That’s why we’ve decided it’s time to scale up our local ACF Community groups from 27 to 70 groups. Real power comes from people working together in local areas AND on coordinated national campaigns. Join a webinar this Thursday 30 May or Thursday 13 June to learn how to join or start a local ACF Community group.

Christian Slattery

Stop Adani Campaigner