Confirmation that nationally significant wetlands were polluted with coal from Adani’s Abbot Point terminal is further evidence the company cannot be trusted to protect our Great Barrier Reef, clean water and wildlife, leading Australian conservation groups have warned.

Newly released Queensland Government testing found significant coal levels at the Abbot Point discharge point to the Caley Valley Wetlands following Cyclone Debbie. Separate independent testing commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) of water samples taken at the same time confirmed coal pollution at higher levels.

ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said it was now known that Adani had not only released polluted coal water into the Caley Valley Wetlands, but it also massively breached a generous ocean pollution license during the same event.

“It appears Adani can’t safely operate a coal port on a cyclone-prone coast. But the risk to the Great Barrier Reef and protected wetlands will be that much higher if Adani’s massive Carmichael coal mine is constructed, which will double the amount of coal at Abbot Point,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“The massive Adani coal mine will help fuel dangerous global warming, which we know is making cyclones more intense. It would be the height of recklessness for it to go ahead.”

AMCS Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director, Imogen Zethoven, said the Queensland Government’s requirement for Adani to undertake an environmental assessment of the wetlands was not sufficient.

“The full damage of this event will likely never be known because of Adani’s poor environmental monitoring and the Queensland Government’s limited sampling regime,” Ms Zethoven said.

“The government must now require Adani’s evaluation to be peer reviewed by a qualified person nominated by the environment department. The government must also undertake its own independent investigation of the impact of Adani’s coal port on the Caley Valley Wetlands and the surrounding marine environment, home to turtles, dugongs and inshore dolphins.

“I have seen with my own eyes earlier this year the environmental devastation caused by Adani’s massive coal plant in Gujarat, India – cleared mangroves, polluted water and the destruction of a natural coastline.

“Now Adani has released coal polluted water into a nationally significant wetland and next to the Great Barrier Reef. This company cannot be trusted with our precious natural assets.

ACF Media Enquiries

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