Australians may not be publicly notified of a decision to approve Adani’s groundwater plan until one month after it is signed off.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is deeply concerned about reports a cabal of Coalition MPs is secretly pressuring the Prime Minister and Environment Minister to grant Adani rights to Queensland’s groundwater on the cusp of a federal election.
ACF Stop Adani campaigner Christian Slattery said the government was not being transparent about critical reviews and approvals of Adani’s plans to guzzle Queensland’s precious groundwater so the company can dig-up polluting coal.
Under condition 36 of Adani’s federal environmental approval, Australians may not be publicly notified of a decision to approve Adani’s groundwater plan until one month after it is signed off.
This week ACF was also denied access to a critical CSIRO review of Adani’s groundwater plans under freedom of information laws. The government refused the request in part on the basis that it would harm the ongoing flow of information between the Commonwealth and Queensland government. However, the Queensland Government has complained it has been denied access to the CSIRO report.
“Australians will be rightly asking it there is a last-minute stitch-up for Adani, a company that has received unprecedented favours and access from all levels of government in recent years,” Mr Slattery said.
“ACF can confirm our representatives sighted Adani chief executive Lucas Dow in Parliament House this week.
“The Prime Minister and Environment Minister must come clean about what meetings were held with pro-coal Queensland MPs and Adani, and what secret deals were cut. If Adani’s groundwater plan is approved, former environment ministers Josh Frydenberg and Greg Hunt will also be in the spotlight for their roles in pushing this mine.
“It’s outrageous that the Coalition government is considering pushing through a critical groundwater approval for Adani’s mine on the eve of an election. The assessment of Adani’s mine has for too long been mired by political interference from MPs acting in the interests of billionaire coal companies.
“At the same time ACF has been denied access to the critical CSIRO report, which media has reported raised concerns about Adani's groundwater plans, including likely damage to the ancient Doongmabulla Springs and missing information.
“Australians are experiencing unprecedented bushfires, heatwaves, drought and floods. Burning the Adani coal will accelerate global warming, worsening these extreme weather events. The Coalition must explain why it’s still cutting deals for Adani."