Skip to main content

$16.5 billion Aussie mining project: Adanis blame anti-coal crusaders, officials for delay

By Our Representative
India’s powerful industrial house, Adani Group, is said to be terribly upset over what it calls further delaying tactics adopted by the Queensland government in finalizing an ecosystem management plan for groundwater management and an environment plan to protect an endangered bird species, black-throated finch, for kick-starting its controversial 16.5 billion dollar coalmining project in Australia. The project has been languishing for a decade due to environmental hurdles.
In a sharply-worded statement, Adani Mining, Australia, a subsidiary of the industrial house known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said, “Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) is seeking to further delay finalisation of the Carmichael project’s Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP), by once again engaging in a secretive and non-transparent additional review process.”
Pointing out that “this is at odds with the department’s previous commitments and smacks of the type of tactics it has employed” the statement says, there is also an effort to “delay and frustrate sign-off of the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan”.
Stating that this suggests the department “now intends to renege on its February commitment to no further reviews”, the statement says, this shows, DES officials have “shifted the goalposts once again.”
Pointing out that the DES is seeking “another round of information and assessment from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Geoscience Australia, despite previously ruling this out”, the statement quotes Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow as saying that the department’s latest move is a “delay tactic designed to stop construction of the Carmichael Project and the delivery of thousands of jobs for regional Queenslanders”.
Even as maintaining that the Adani Group has “already invested $3.3 billion into the Queensland economy” and “we are not going away”, Dow feared, “We are now facing prospect of another tortuous and never-ending management plan approval process like the one we have endured for the black-throated finch. It appears this process will again go beyond the scope of what our project is required to deliver under regulatory conditions.”
Dow said, “The manner in which our plans are now being assessed by the Queensland Labour government has gone well beyond the legitimacy of the science”, adding, “Considering DES has already been reviewing the water management plans for more than two years, across 11 versions, and had access to CSIRO and Geoscience Australia’s assessments, the requirement for further information and delays at this point is not just extraordinary, it is an injustice through process.”
The black-throated finch
“We are 1 of 125 coal mining companies in Australia. We should all be subject to the same legislation, regulations, approval processes and standards,” Dow continued. “In the past six months alone we have seen the Queensland Labour government insist on additional review processes headed by individuals who lead organisations with members who harbour anti-coal sentiments.”
“They have even labelled us bullies, all because we have publicly held them to account for their behaviour and asked to be treated fairly and on the same terms as other Queensland coal companies,” Dow stressed.
“Adani Mining first submitted the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan to the Queensland Government for approval on May 11, 2017”, and “over the past two years, seven versions of the plan have been submitted to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, consisting of more than 1,000 pages of advice that have been assessed and verified by more than 10 different scientists, five environmental consultancy groups and even a Land Court judge.”
In its statement, Adani Mining quotes an independent ecologist of the Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd, hired by it, to say:
“Overall, I view the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan (BTFMP) as having been compiled in line with and meeting the imposed EA conditions. The plan is responsive, contemporary and suitable for the required purpose. The BTFMP has been approved by the Department of Environment and Energy. I have not identified any reason which would justify DES to not endorse the BTFMP version 7b. It is better to have a single plan approved by both levels of government than separate versions of the same plan. The adaptive management approach provides for ongoing adaption and adoption of recognised areas for improvement.
Apprehending that it is not sure whether the new process of going ahead with finalizing its new eco management plan would succeed, Dow said, “We are not going to be pig-headed about it and we are working through the latest round of requested changes for the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan as urgently as possible in order to move forward, however department officials have refused to commit to a timeframe to finalise the plan, even if we were to accept the State’s new round of requests in full.”
“At some point, the Queensland Labor Government will need to show some courage and face regional Queenslanders with a decision on these outstanding management plans, ultimately deciding whether they will allow thousands of jobs to be delivered to the parts of our State that need it most”, he underlined.

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen