“Today’s announcement looks like a plan to monitor the destruction of the springs.”

In response to the Queensland Government’s approval of Adani’s groundwater management plan, Kelly O’Shanassy, Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), said:

“With this fast-tracked decision in favour of Adani, the Palaszczuk Government has put politics ahead of science, Queensland’s water and the climate.

“In effect, the Federal and Queensland governments have said scientists’ concerns don’t matter, while Adani’s plans to drain inland aquifers to service a thirsty coal mine do.

“This tick-and-flick approval for Adani’s groundwater plan may spell disaster for the environmentally and culturally significant Doongmabulla Springs – an outback oasis that could dry up if Adani’s optimistic predictions, which are not supported by science, are found to be incorrect,” she said.

“Today’s announcement looks like a plan to monitor the destruction of the springs.”

Scientists fear Adani has significantly underestimated the impact its proposed groundwater extraction would have on the ancient Doongmabulla Springs.

Numerous scientific agencies, including the Independent Expert Scientific Committee, CSIRO and Geoscience Australia, have questioned Adani’s groundwater model assumptions that claim to identify the source aquifer of the Doongmabulla Springs Complex (DSC).

As CSIRO and Geoscience Australia (p 10) found: ‘It is not plausible and reasonable to state unequivocally that the Clematis Sandstone is the sole source aquifer for the DSC, as sufficient uncertainty surrounding hydrogeochemistry, inter-aquifer connectivity and groundwater flow exists.’

The approval comes after ACF yesterday won its Federal Court appeal against the assessment of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme, with the Federal Government conceding the case, admitting it failed to consider public submissions and even lost some submissions.

“The widespread concern about Adani’s coal mine is not going away,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“If all the coal in the Galilee Basin is burnt it would produce 705 million tonnes of climate pollution each year, which is more than 1.3 times Australia’s annual pollution from all sources, including cars, industry, energy and agriculture.

“It’s tough to take on powerful companies with deep pockets and the ear of governments, but we will keep speaking up for the climate, Queensland’s water and the public interest.”

Pic: Tom Jefferson

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910 or Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@mail.acf.org.au