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

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

By Rajiv Shah
It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.

Indian Muslims' position being 'undermined' by new nationalism gripping the country

By Moin Qazi*
Muslims are the second-largest demographic of India, with nearly 14 per cent of the country’s population, or roughly 172 million people, but they are so marginalised that their presence in important public spheres is almost invisible. Most of them are poor, semi-literate and driven into ghettos.

Australia's centre-right govt 'wakes up' to Islamophobia, swears by multicultural legacy

By Neeraj Nanda*
In an interesting turn, the federal government in Australia, which is led by the centre-right Liberal Party, has slammed incidents of Islamophobia gripping the country, calling them ‘completely unacceptable’. A media statement from David Coleman, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, has referred to a report released by the Charles Sturt University to point towards the danger.

National award winning film 'Hellaro' co-produced by three chartered accountants

By Our Representative
“Hellaro”, a Gujarati feature film produced by Saarthi Productions in association with Harfanmaula Films (Ahmedabad) was declared as the Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards which was conferred by the Government of India. The film also won the Special Jury Award for the Best Actress to all the 13 actresses of the film.
Ashish Patel produced the movie, which has been co-produced three co-producers, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta and Mit Jani, all of whom, interestingly, started their filmmaking journey after becoming Chartered Accountants in 2012.
“Hellaro” is directed by Abhishek Shah, who has been working in Gujarati theatre since the past 17 years as writer, director and actor and has received numerous awards for his plays. He has also worked as a casting director for 12 films.
“Hellaro” is a period drama based in Kutch and has been co-written by Abhishek Shah and Prateek Gupta. Gupta previously received the Best Debut Director Award, along with Mit Jan…

Sabarimala: Male devotee nurturing unholy thoughts is 'unfit' to visit Lord Ayyappa shrine

By RB Sreekumar, IPS (Retd)*
The Supreme Court last week, by 3:2 majority, decided to keep the review petitions in Sabarimala matter pending until a larger bench determines questions related to essential religious practices. The majority of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra expressed that the issue whether Court can interfere in essential practises of religion needed examination by larger bench. Justices Chandrachud and Nariman dissented.