Adani water plan flounders

The Australian Conservation Foundation has won its appeal at the Federal Court in its challenge of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme, with the Federal Government conceding that it had failed to properly consider public submissions.

In the appeal, it was found that the Federal Government had not only failed to properly examine public submissions, but had also lost a number of them.

“With this concession the government admitted it comprehensively failed to apply proper process when former Environment Minister Melissa Price assessed Adani’s plans to take up to 12.5 billion litres of water from the Suttor River in outback Queensland to service its mine,” ACF’s Chief Executive Kelly O’Shanassy said.

“The government is fundamentally failing to properly apply national environment laws to its approvals for Adani’s mine and has been ignoring deep public concern about the mine’s environmental impact.

The ruling concerns the North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS), a critical infrastructure project that will support Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine. The proposed scheme would see a 110-kilometre pipeline connecting the Sutton River, an ephemeral water source in central Queensland, to the Adani mine site.

In December 2018 ACF launched a case challenging the then Environment Minister Melissa Price’s perceived failure to apply the water trigger, a process designed to scrutinise the impact of large coal and coal seam gas projects on water bodies.

In February last year ACF asked the court to include an additional ground in the case, relating to whether the Minister properly considered thousands of public submissions on her assessment of the water infrastructure proposal.

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