Skip to main content

"Relief" to Adanis' top Aussie coal mining project: Dredge spoil to be dumped on land, not wetland

Annastacia Palazczuk
By Our Representative
In major relief, the Adani Group, seeking to go in for one of the world’s biggest mining projects in Australia’s Queensland province, has reached an agreement with its new Labour government which has just taken over, allowing it to dump the dredge spoil on land on the site known as T2, adjacent to the existing coal terminal, and not on ecologically sensitive Caley Valley wetlands or within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
A Queensland government communiqué said, an agreement to this effect with the two project proponents, Adanis and GVK, has been “put in place” by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, calling it  “an environmentally sustainable and fiscally responsible proposal for the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.”
The communiqué quoted Palaszczuk to say that she has always supported “the responsible and sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point”, and the agreement she has reached “demonstrates that”. The Australian environmentalists have still not reacted to the agreement reached between the new government and the Adanis, one of India's biggest business houses, and GVK, a top Indian infrastructure firm.
“Today my government sends a clear message: we can protect the Great Barrier Reef, and we can foster economic development and create jobs”, the Queensland premier said. Through this agreement, the new Labour government hopes to placate powerful environmental lobby led by Greenpeace Australia, which wants the Adani project to be cancelled.
“I am determined to deliver on my election commitments, and that includes no dumping of capital dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, no dumping of dredge material in the nationally-significant Caley Valley wetlands, and no taxpayer funding for capital dredging and the disposal of dredge spoil”, Palaszczuk said.
“The government will not proceed with the current approvals process. We will withdraw the applications and present a new application centred on the T2 site”, she said, adding, “T2 is the only remaining unallocated industrial land at the Port and the only responsible way to proceed with the Abbot Point development to ensure it is ready for future exports from the Galilee Basin.”
Thanking Adanis and GVK for working with the new Queensland government “to come up with a sustainable plan” that would help “protect the Reef, protect the wetlands and create jobs”, State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham clarified, “Unlike the previous government’s project, capital dredging costs will not be funded by taxpayers.”
“We will ensure that approvals costs will be met by Galilee Basin proponents, with capital dredging costs to be paid for by the proponents to the Galilee Basin projects,” Dr Lynham said, adding, “The new project referral under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would involve a full Environmental Impact Statement process, which also allows for a new round of public consultation.”
“The Port of Abbot Point development is vital to Queensland’s economic future. That’s why we are prioritising this project and are dedicated to ensuring it progresses in a transparent and environmentally responsible manner," he said.

“We will immediately begin work on providing a robust and informed approval referral to the Commonwealth Government and applications to state approval agencies. The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with local communities and project proponents to deliver good economic and environmental outcomes when it comes to major developments”, he said. 

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.