Australian news, and some related international items

Adani still under investigation by Queensland government, over groundwater bores

Adani cleared of wrong doing by Federal Government over bores but Qld investigation continues, ABC News By Josh Robertson , 18 Jan 19, Adani remains under investigation by the Queensland Government for alleged illegal works on its Carmichael mine site, despite federal authorities ruling out any wrongdoing.

State officials have confirmed the ongoing probe into whether the company breached its environmental authority by sinking six dewatering bores last year.

The ABC revealed in September the department had launched an investigation into whether Adani sunk the groundwater bores in breach of its approval under the state Environmental Protection Act. …….

Queensland Greens senator Larissa Waters said she had reviewed documents relating to the Federal Environment Department’s inquiries and “unfortunately it seems that there wasn’t a thorough investigation”.

Ms Waters is a former lawyer at Queensland’s Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), which has provided the State Government evidence of the alleged breach, including drone footage of the bores.

State Government investigation still underway

A spokesman for the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) said the Government was aware of the Commonwealth findings.

“DES is undertaking a more comprehensive investigation under separate state legislation, and has made several information requests to Adani, and has also carried out site inspections,” he said.

“If non-compliances are identified during the course of the investigation, DES can move to enforcement action.”

Adani still needs approval for its groundwater dependent ecosystem management plan to carry out mining operations.

Last month, the ABC revealed the Queensland Environment Department was examining evidenceincluding specifications of groundwater bores registered by Adani on a government website.

Queensland’s EDO and a university groundwater expert argued the bores construction, materials and depth are consistent with dewatering bore standards but incompatible with groundwater monitoring……..


January 18, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

ALERT: Adani Contractor Locked Up and Blockaded   

New Adani contractor Eastern Tree Services found themselves locked out of five premises in three states this morning, with citizens blocking work trucks at another two premises.
Additional locks and chains, as well as signs calling for ETS to ‘get out of bed with Adani’, meant staff needed angle grinders to get into work. Trucks wanting to leave industrial sites in Brisbane & Townsville were blocked by concerned citizens.

ETS, a large privately-owned company, operates tree clearing services from 20 sites across the country. They start tree clearing work at Abbott Point Coal Terminal this week and sources confirm ETS have accepted a contract to clear the rail corridor from Adani’s controversial Carmichael Coal Mine to link in with the existing railway travelling to Abbott Point. Jai, a spokesperson for Frontline Action on Coal said:

“ETS must listen to the majority of Australians who do not want Adani’s coal mine to go ahead and completely rule out destroying precious bushland for the proposed Adani rail corridor.”

This is not the first Adani contractor to be the target of long-running protests, with prior campaigns leading to banks, insurers and contractors ruling out supporting the mine. Emma from the Brisbane blockade protest said:

“Big businesses need to understand that if they work with Adani they will be held accountable for the damage to the reef, land, culture and climate that will ensue if Adani’s dirty coal mine goes ahead. Adani contractors like ETS will find themselves targets of ongoing protests until they rule out working with Adani.”

“Adani fail to get approvals and keep their promised work deadlines time and time again. They cannot be trusted and should not be allowed to build a climate wrecking coal mine that Australia doesn’t want, and the world doesn’t need.”  SourceDoc Frontline Action on Coal:

January 14, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment


 Frontline Action on Coal , 8 Jan 19

Early this morning, 37 year old teacher Jesse Secomb brought coal trains to a halt in protest of the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine.

Securing himself to a concrete barrel located on the railway tracks, Jesse has blockaded the transport of coal into Abbott Point Coal Terminal situated just outside of Bowen in Queensland.

Jesse’s protest marks the first of its kind against Adani for 2019, following a magnitude of demonstrations in previous years as part of a nationwide movement against the mine after growing concern on the impacts the proposed mine will have on the environment and climate.

Jesse stated that concerns about recent planned work by Adani on the mine inspired him to take urgent action.

After declaring that work on the mine would start by Christmas, Adani has yet again failed to meet a self imposed deadline, instead blaming the QLD Governement after a recent request to review and resubmit their groundwater management plan after concerns were raised.

When asked why action was needed, Jesse said “Working as a teacher, you really grow to care for your students and want to support them in realising their hopes and dreams. But what’s the good of dreaming about the future, if the future of the planet is in crisis? If the Adani mine goes ahead it will pump an extra 705 million tons of deadly carbon into the air, making it almost impossible to make the necessary changes over the next 12 years to avert a climate catastrophe.”

He refers to the recent IPCC report by the worlds leading climate scientists which states that we only have 12 years to act on climate change and keep global warming within 1.5C, avoiding extreme heat, droughts, floods and poverty.

Despite recent claims by resources minister Matt Canavan  that communities of “David’s” were facing huge battles with Goliath’s of green activists, many of those protesting the mine are every day Australian’s who don’t want to see the even more Australians suffer from further drought, fires and heat as a result of inaction on climate change.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Fighting Adani: An Interview With Wangan and Jagalingou Council’s Adrian Burragubba By Paul Gregoire | 21/12/2018

“Indian mining giant Adani filed an application with the Federal Court last week asking that a legal challenge to its proposed Carmichael coalmine be thrown out, unless the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners fronted up with $160,000 in potential court fees within two weeks.

On Tuesday, Federal Court Justice Alan Robertson said that Adani’s demand was “disproportionate and unpersuasive”. He ordered that the traditional ownerspay $50,000 in security costs by the end of January or their legal challenge could not go ahead.

Adani’s attempt to have the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners’ case thrown out has caused the mining company further setbacks with its terminally delayed mine, as the case will now take place in May, when it was initially scheduled for next month.

The traditional owners are appealing an earlier ruling by the Federal Court. They assert that the Indigenous land use agreement (ILUA) that is essential for the Adani mine to go ahead is void. In August, Justice John Reeves found that this claim had “no merit”.

However, on Tuesday, Justice Robertson also upheld that the appeal will be going before the full bench of the Federal Court, as there’s an “arguable case of error” in the decision of the primary judge. …

Sydney Criminal Lawyers spoke with Wangan and Jagalingou spokesperson Adrian Burragubba about his thoughts on Adani’s latest tactic to try and thwart their ongoing opposition, why the Adani ILUA is a sham and how the system of native title needs a complete overhaul. … ”

Read the interview at the source document:

December 24, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Scorching weather predicted for Queensland

Heatwave set to blaze across Queensland for next few days, ABC News, By Aneeta Bhole and staff, 21 Dec 18,  Scorching weather has been predicted over the next four days in Queensland, with temperatures set to soar over 40 degrees Celsius in the state’s western interior.

December 22, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani ordered to pay almost $12m for work on scrapped Carmichael rail line, Ben Smee

Judgment details how ‘payment difficulties’ emerged in contract between AECOM and Adani subsidiary Adani has been ordered to pay almost $12m owed to engineering firm AECOM for work on a scrapped rail line to the Carmichael coalmine.A judgment in the Queensland Building and Construction commission details how “payment difficulties” emerged in a contract between AECOM and an Adani subsidiary company. The 1,862-point commission adjudicationsays Adani had “anticipated” receiving government support that did not materialise, including a $1b federal loan to build the rail link between Carmichael and the Abbot Point port.

The loan was vetoed by the Queensland government in November last year. The contract to design the rail line was suspended about six months later.

Soon after AECOM lodged a claim with the QBCC alleging it was owed $20m for the work. Adani countered by offering $325,000.

The QBCC this week issued a detailed mixed ruling that Adani owes AECOM about $12m, plus interest. The ruling also reveals how the rail line, which has since been abandoned, suffered a series of setbacks.

These included Adani being unable to provide AECOM with access to properties to undertake design work, “expected government relaxations that did not materialise” and the veto of a loan from the Northern Australia infrastructure facility.

“[AECOM] argued that these difficulties resulted in delays … [and] a substantial change to [Adani’s] project delivery strategy, resulting in the suspension of the claimant’s services,” adjudicator Chris Lenz said.

Adani had previously said the Naif loan was “not critical” to its project. As the rail project struck “difficulties”, Adani was unsuccessfully attempting to find outside finance for the Carmichael project. Eventually the company changed tack, downscaling port, rail and mine plans and cutting costs to an extent it can self-finance Carmichael.

It announced last month Carmichael would go ahead without external finance, and that works at the site in the Galilee Basin are imminent. But several key approvals and processes remain outstanding; including some which will not be finalised by the federal election. Adani has sought to frame those approvals as formalities, and can undertake some works before those approvals being granted.

A recent federal court decision means a full-bench appeal by traditional owners, members of the Wangan and Jagalingou family council, will likely be heard in May next year. The Queensland government is understood to be waiting until the outcome of that case before extinguishing native title at the Carmichael site.

Guardian Australia has previously reported that access discussions with rail network operator Aurizon will likely take until September, and that those negotiations will need to settle who pays for line upgrades worth at least $100m.

Management plans for groundwater have not been approved. A recent government report said cumulative water impacts in the Galilee had been understated, and the ABC reported this week the CSIRO had flagged concerns about Adani’s groundwater dependent ecosystems management plan, which the Queensland government must approve, and for which there is no statutory timeframe.

No significant ground disturbance can occur until the groundwater plan is approved.

Adani said in a statement it had invested $3.3bn in its Australian businesses, “a clear demonstration of our capacity to deliver a financing solution for the mine and rail project, as well as meeting all financial obligations”.

“In September we announced a new narrow-gauge railway design solution for the Carmichael project to accelerate the delivery and reduce capital costs. We have already secured the necessary approvals and land-access agreements with landholders needed to build the line.

“We are working through [the] regulatory process with the network owner and once it is complete we will commence construction of the rail line.”

December 22, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Climate change now brings bushfires to Australia’s Northern rainforests

December 10, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | 2 Comments

Adani’s announcement they are ‘ready to go’ must be reality tested

Brisbane, Australia: Galilee Basin Traditional Owners say today’s announcement by Adani Mining that it has decided to fund its massively scaled down Carmichael project must be reality tested. They say the Queensland Government has not extinguished their native title, which is crucial to the mine proceeding.

W&J Traditional Owner and lead spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said, “Even if Adani’s announcement proves to be true, they do not have the final approvals or the financial close needed for the mine to proceed. They are also under investigation for environmental breaches on our country.

“It is a measure of Adani’s failure that they can’t obtain finance for the project they touted to our people.. We rejected it when they first came to us and we reject it now, because Adani offers nothing of worth to our people and will destroy our country forever.

“We demand a guarantee from the Queensland Government they won’t now extinguish our native title for Adani. Queensland Labor has said they recognise that the registration of the Adani ILUA is contested and they acknowledge and respect our right to have our complaints considered and determined by a court.

“We have an appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court. To act before this concludes would be to deny our rights and open the way for a grave injustice. Without our consent, the mine is not ready to proceed”.

December 3, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland Premier sceptical that Adani coal mine will ever eventuate

We will believe it when we see it’: Palaszczuk on the Adani coal mine , Brisbane Times,By Felicity Caldwell, 30 November 2018 Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has expressed scepticism about Adani’s announcement that construction on its Carmichael coal mine would begin.

Adani Australia mining chief executive Lucas Dow on Thursday announced the scaled-back project would be “100 per cent financed” from within the Adani conglomerate.

Ms Palaszczuk said the announcement was “very different to what we have been seeing” and she wanted more details. “There is no taxpayers’ money going into the building of that railway line, they have to have agreements with Aurizon, we haven’t seen any of that evidence as of yet,” she told the ABC on Friday morning.

“And, of course, we will believe it when we see it.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the success of Adani’s project would depend on whether the company met its milestones. “We’ve got a lot of companies that come and say we’ve got finance to begin things and it doesn’t happen,” she said. “I will believe it when it starts happening.”

Adani was previously seeking a $1 billion taxpayer loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to finance a 388-kilometre rail line needed to move its coal to port for export.

However, Ms Palaszczuk announced she would veto the NAIF loan during the state election campaign.

In September, Adani announced it would save $1.5 billion by scaling down the rail line. It will now build a shorter narrow gauge line to connect with Aurizon’s existing rail plans……….

Greens Senator Larissa Waters said there was still time to stop Adani’s Galilee Basin mine.

“It’s no surprise they’ve announced that they’re going to fund their own mine; it’s because no one else will actually give them any money,” she said.

Greens MP Michael Berkman said Labor had issued the environmental approval and mining leases and set up a royalties deal. “We are so far beyond the point of being able to accept Labor’s ‘we’ll believe it when we see it’ kind of approach,” he said……….

December 1, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | 1 Comment

Queensland experiencing fires of unprecedented fury, similar to California’s wildfires


Qld fires compared to deadly US blazes    The Queensland fires have been compared to the infernos that recently decimated California. News, Staff reporters, Australian Associated Press, NOVEMBER 28, 2018

Almost 10,000 Queenslanders are being forced to flee to shelter as wildfires fanned by catastrophic conditions bear down on their communities.

Firefighters in Queensland are battling almost 140 wildfires, with the worst in central Queensland in destructive conditions that have been compared to those that fanned the infernos that recently decimated California.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered and 37 schools closed amid a new blaze near Rockhampton and monster one farther south that’s already razed at least four homes and scorched tens of thousands of hectares of bush and farmland.

A large fire sparked shortly before 3pm on Wednesday has since raced towards Gracemere, prompting authorities to order a mandatory complete evacuation of the 8000 people in the area.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart told people not to panic but make for the Rockhampton showgrounds around 14km away, where an evacuation centre has been set up.

……..Firefighters have been fighting since Saturday the monster fire near Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek, Eungella and Dalrymple Heights, where people were ordered to evacuate before fires cut road.

Most people got out by road but some had to be ferried over Baffle Creek.

……….Deputy Police Commissioner Bob Gee had bluntly warned people that the conditions were so dangerous people could die if they stayed put.

“People will burn to death. Their normal approaches probably won’t work if this situation develops the way it is predicted to develop. It is no different to a Category 5 cyclone coming through your door.”

Brian Smith, Regional Manager for the Rural Fire Services Central Region, said experts were comparing the conditions in Deepwater to the Waroona fires in Western Australia, which completely wiped out a town a few years ago, and also to the recent deadly California fires.

Interstate crews arrived on Tuesday to help fight the inferno in Deepwater that’s destroyed homes and burnt through at tens of thousands of hectares of bush and farmland since Saturday.

Crews from South Australia are expected to arrive on Wednesday, with more from around Australia to arrive later this week.


November 29, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Soon to be ADANI’s railway blocked by 18 year old climate activist, stopping all coal entering the ADANI owned Abbot Point.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | 1 Comment

Federal government’s water gift to Adani exposed

Green Left,   Margaret Gleeson, 15 Nov 18  The Environmental Defenders Office Queensland said new documents raise fresh questions about why the water impacts of Adani’s huge North Galilee Water Scheme will not be assessed under federal laws.

“Queensland is suffering through a severe drought. Despite this, state environment minister Melissa Price decided in September not to apply the “water trigger” assessment on Adani’s proposal to extract river water for up to 60 years, expand a dam and build a pipeline to transport the water to its mine.

This was despite federal environment law dictating that coalmines that are likely to have a significant impact on water resources must undergo a full environmental assessment.

On November 7, the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) said that new documents released under a Freedom of Information request raised fresh questions about why the water impacts of Adani’s huge North Galilee Water Scheme — its pipeline from the Suttor River in Queensland to its Carmichael mine site — will not be assessed under federal laws.

The ABC reported that it had seen documents showing that the federal environment department ruled against water experts from the Department of Agriculture and Water who recommended applying the water trigger to Adani’s plan to pump 12 billion litres of river water to the Carmichael mine. …

“Community groups have questioned why the project’s impacts to water resources will not be assessed under the “water trigger”. The documents received by Lock the Gate confirm the community’s concerns.

A submission from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources advised that the North Galilee Water Scheme could “have a significant impact(s) on a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal development, protected under the EPBC Act”.

A submission from Geoscience Australia also called into question Adani’s own referral documents to the federal government, indicating the company failed to consider groundwater dependent ecosystems, despite there being a large number in the affected area.

EDO Qld principal solicitor Sean Ryan said the contents of the documents were “concerning”.

“These new documents raise serious questions as to why the water impacts of this project are not being thoroughly assessed under federal laws,” Ryan said. … ”

ReadMuchMuchMore at the #GreenLeft

November 17, 2018 Posted by | environment, Queensland | Leave a comment

Mining industry and union get together to prevent mining clean-up legislation


Have you noticed how quickly Liberal members of parliament jump into the polluting industries ?

The mining industry and powerful CFMMEU join forces on mining reforms, Brisbane Times, By Felicity Caldwell, 9 November 2018 — The Queensland mining industry and a powerful union have joined forces to pressure the state Labor government to make changes to planned reforms that will force miners to clean-up their sites.

Earlier this week, the Brisbane Times reported state government officials were holding daily talks with the Queensland Resources Council over amendments to the Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) bill, amid mining industry concerns about retrospectivity that could affect existing mines, and aspects of a public interest test.

Miners would have to pay, according to risk, into a pool of funds that would be used to clean up land.

It came after it was revealed taxpayers may have to pay up to $40 million in clean-up costs after the collapse of Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville.

On Friday afternoon, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane wrote to all 93 state MPs to say the industry was “deeply concerned” the government’s proposed amendments had the “potential to be retrospective” and would “therefore put Queensland’s multibillion-dollar resources industry at risk”………

The QRC also sent a joint letter with the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) to cabinet members, which said the two bodies could not support the government’s proposed amendments………

Earlier, Greens MP Michael Berkman called on Labor not to buckle to pressure and weaken reforms.

“It’s time to pick a side: are you with the mining billionaires or with everyday Queenslanders?” he asked.

“It’s great that cabinet are reportedly considering some improvements, and we would support stronger reforms, but I still haven’t seen any details.”

In September, Mr Berkman wrote to Ms Trad, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, crossbenchers and the opposition, asking for support for Greens amendments to the bill, including making “sure no coal mine can ever leave behind a toxic final void”.

“Queenslanders understand that if you make a mess, you should clean it up. There is nothing ‘retrospective’ about that,” he said.

The government amendments were due to go before cabinet on Monday, with the bill to be debated next week.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in Far North Queensland fast tracked

Kidston renewable energy hub one step closer, REneweconomy, Queensland Government28 September 2018  Genex Power’s Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in Far North Queensland has been fast tracked with the $330 million Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage project (K2H) today declared a coordinated project.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the project, located at the decommissioned Kidston Gold Mine within Etheridge Shire, proposes an innovative use of two existing adjacent water-filled mine pits to generate hydroelectricity.

“If approved, the project could employ 370 people during the two-year construction and have a minimum lifespan of 50 years,” he said.

“When complete, Stages 1 and 2 of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub will provide enough energy to power around 160,000 Australian homes – enough power for a city bigger than Cairns.

“Stage 1 alone will produce enough power to supply more than 26,000 Australian homes, offsetting 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and remove 33,000 cars off Australian roads.

“Genex has set a strong mandate to provide local residents with job opportunities, whether that be direct on-site employment, consultancy or indirect contract work.

“This renewable energy project has the ability to revitalise the local economy and I commend Genex on making sure locals benefit from the project……..

The Kidston Renewable Energy Hub comprises:

Stage 1 solar power project (50 MW) which has been constructed
Stage 2 proposed new solar project (270 MW) to integrate with the K2H project (250 MW) currently undergoing assessment
Stage 3 wind farm project (150 MW) which is in the feasibility stage.
Energy generated by Stage 2 (combined solar and hydro) will be via a new transmission line connecting the Kidston site to Mount Fox, near Ingham…….

Mr Dick said the introduction of large-scale, low-cost flexible energy storage also provides another solution to Queensland’s growing power requirements.

If approved construction is due to commence in 2019 and expected to be completed by 2021.

For more information visit:

October 3, 2018 Posted by | energy, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani coalmine: most Queenslanders want water licence revoked, poll finds

‘A poll conducted for Lock the Gate found a majority of Queensland voters want water rights taken off Adani and given to farmers. Guardian, Ben Smee @BenSmee , 23 Sep 2018 A majority of Queensland’s voters want the government to cancel the Adani mining company’s 60-year unlimited water extraction licence
amid growing concern about the severity of the drought.

‘Polling conducted by ReachTel for the environmental group Lock the Gate shows  concern about water extraction by Adani, and the impact on agriculture, is strong among conservative voters.

‘Almost 70% of all voters agreed the licence,
to extract groundwater for the Carmichael coalmine,
should be revoked to safeguard water for farmers. …

‘The national coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Carmel Flint, said  the results showed “incredible support across the political spectrum
to put water above mining and look after Queensland farmers”.
The national coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Carmel Flint, said
the results showed “incredible support across the political spectrum
to put water above mining and look after Queensland farmers”.

‘“I think this really does reveal that as this drought really bites,
people don’t accept that we can hand over vast quantities of water to Adani,” she said. … ‘
Read much much more of BenSmee’s comprehensive,groundbreaking, interesting article:

September 24, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment