Federal Court rules Morrison Government broke its own laws when assessing Adani mine

Two and a half years after lodging its case alleging that the Morrison Government broke its own laws when assessing Adani’s water-guzzling mine, the Federal Court has ruled in favour of the Australian Conservation Foundation‘s claim.

The court case challenged the government’s decision not to apply the “water trigger” to its assessment of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme. Now, a key approval for Adani’s Carmichael coal project has been overturned, with the federal court ruling the federal government made a “legal error” in the way it assessed and approved plans for Adani to pump 12.5bn litres of water a year from a Queensland river.

Commenting on the results of the court case, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said it was “the best news we could have hoped for!”.

“It means Adani has to start again with its plans to pump 12.5 billion litres of water from some of our most drought-affected areas to run its climate-wrecking mine. A coal mine can’t operate without water, so this is a major setback for Adani. This is a great win for the protection of water on our dry continent from coal mining. It’s a win for farmers who depend on reliable flows of river water in our drought-prone landscape.”

– Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation

What is a water trigger?

This is an element of Australia’s environmental law that demands the government asses the water impacts of all large coalmines and coal seam gas proposals. The federal court’s decision said the reasoning of the government not to apply the trigger to its assessment of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme was in error.

How will this impact the Adani mine?

Although Adani has responded by saying its activities – including the ongoing construction of the mine and its future operation – will not be impacted by the decision, the ACF notes that “coal mines can’t operate without water, so this is a major setback for Adani”.

While the ruling is a significant win for the ACF, as well as for the protection of water within drought-ridden Australia, and for Aussie farmers whose livelihoods depend on reliable flows of river water, the ACF warns that the battle is not yet over.

“One thing we can be sure of is that Adani won’t accept this defeat, and so our work must continue,” says Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the ACF.

How can I help #StopAdani?

The ACF wants to stop coal mining and replace it with clean exports, promoting clean solutions like renewable powered energy, hydrogen, steel and aluminium.

“We’re sending a message to big corporations like Adani: if you want to build a coal mine in Australia, you’re going to have to get through us first. It means thinking creatively – not every challenge will end up in court – but you can be sure that we’ll continue to be a force to be reckoned with.”

– Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation

 

To find out how you can support the ACF in its mission to #StopAdani, head to https://support.acf.org.au/adani_court_case.

Source
The GuardianAustralian Conservation Foundation
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