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Adani's Illegal Drilling Operation

BREAKING: Adani has broken the law. They have been caught illegally drilling into aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.

Adani has lied to the Queensland Government. They filed false and misleading documentation to hide their illegal works, preparing to drain unlimited water for their coal mine.

Over half of Queensland is in the midst of the worst drought in half a century, and winter bushfires are raging around the country1. The catastrophic impacts of climate change are right at our doorstep — and our communities are struggling to cope with a natural environment pushed to new extremes.

We have to stop Adani now, before it's too late. Because once the damage is done, there's no repairing it.

Adani has been caught. Now we need them to be prosecuted. Can you sign the petition and share this video as wide as you can?

You can read EDO Queensland's legal briefing here.

You can see more raw footage and stills of Adani's breaches on Coast and Country's website here.

1. Adani has started illegal work on the Carmichael Coal Mine earlier than permitted, breaching its Environmental Authority. It has started construction before important plans to protect groundwater dependant ecosystems have been approved. This high impact work creates serious risks for Queensland's groundwater, the ancient Doongmabulla and Yukanna Kumoo springs complexes and the species that rely on the springs. Once the damage is done, it cannot be reversed.

This work includes:

  • installing permanent infrastructure so Adani can use unlimited groundwater at the mine site, drilling six of its 48 groundwater bores, and starting operations to 'dewater' the coal seam. By drilling into the Great Artesian Basin aquifers, Adani has potentially begun depressuring the source aquifer for the ancient Doongmabulla Springs, which could cause the springs to become extinct
  • constructing access roads and installing permanent infrastructure, eg to enable drilling, parking and water storage
  • clearing trees and other vegetation for the construction of six dewatering bores, disturbing a significant land area of 18,560 square metres (an area larger the Melbourne Cricket Ground).

This unlawful work, in breach of Adani's Environmental Authority and the Environmental Protection Act 1994 is sufficient grounds to also allow the Queensland government to also suspend or cancel Adani's registration as a 'suitable operator'. More about the risks of the mine to water and threatened species here.

2. Adani has lied to the Queensland Government.

In their latest and first Annual Return, Adani's head of Environment and Sustainability provided false and misleading statements, failing to record the construction work and reporting that Adani had complied with their Environmental Authority.

For the Environment

Adani has not yet received approval for its Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan (GDEMP). This plan is designed to protect precious groundwater, aquifers and sensitive threatened ecosystems from Adani's mine project, which will use vast quantities of groundwater. Adani's draft GDEMP has been widely criticised as inadequate (see ABC coverage here and here).

Not only will Adani's plan suck up Queensland's water in the midst of a drought, they place the Doongmabulla Springs Complex - nationally important wetlands near the mine - at risk. These wetlands are listed as "threatened ecological communities" and have been identified in the Queensland Land Court as having exceptional ecological significance. If the springs dry up they cannot be repaired.

For the rights of Traditional Owners

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people do not consent to Adani's mine being built on their land and are considering an appeal from their current Federal Court challenge. Adani should not have started work on W&J land before they have exhausted their rights to take action in the court system. The work puts their most sacred site, the Doongmabulla Springs, at risk. The mine would permanently destroy vast swathes of W&J's ancestral homelands and waters. W&J say that their lands and waters embody their culture and are the living source of their customs, laws, and spiritual beliefs. The destruction of their lands and waters, and the extinguishment of their rights and interests in their lands, will destroy their culture.


To: Premier Palaszczuk, Minister Enoch, and the entire Queensland Government,

The law should apply to mining corporations just as it does to the rest of us.

We call on the Queensland Government to hold Adani accountable by launching a criminal prosecution.

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