Adani says it could start works at Abbot Point without traditional owners' input
Adani says it will proceed with new construction work at its Abbot Point coal terminal with or without the involvement of Juru local traditional owners, amid an escalating dispute about the protection of sacred sites. The Juru group seeks stop order.
By WGAR News
'Adani says it will proceed with new construction work at its Abbot Point coal terminal with or without the involvement of Juru local traditional owners, amid an escalating dispute about the protection of sacred sites.
'On Thursday a group of traditional owners, Juru Enterprises Ltd, lodged an application for a stop order that could force Adani to cease work in the vicinity of Abbot Point and along part of the proposed rail link to the Carmichael mine.
'Guardian Australia has seen correspondence that confirms Adani plans to soon begin work at Abbot Point that is outside the area covered by a cultural heritage management plan and has not been surveyed or assessed by Juru people.
'The situation is the result of a complex native title law dispute.
'In May, the federal court ruled Juru Enterprises was the appropriate “nominated body” to represent Juru people on a land-use agreement with Adani.
The court did not consider or rule on a suite of other agreements, which remain in dispute. ... '
'Queensland government must rule on application to cease work around Abbot Point coal terminal'
'Adani is facing the prospect of being ordered to cease work in the vicinity of its Abbot Point coal terminal and planned rail corridor, after Juru traditional owners applied for a “stop order” to protect sacred sites.
'Guardian Australia understands the application was lodged with the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships on Thursday by lawyers for Juru Enterprises Limited (JEL).
'The deputy premier of Queensland, Jackie Trad, who represents a strongly anti-Adani inner-Brisbane electorate, has delegated authority to rule on any application for a stop order.
'Trad will have to decide whether there are “reasonable grounds for concluding the activity is harming, threatening to harm, or will have a significant adverse impact on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage” and can grant an initial order for up to 30 days. ... '
'Juru traditional owners say Adani has ignored demands to inspect “unauthorised” cultural assessments'.
'Indigenous traditional owners from north Queensland have threatened to try to pursue an order that could shut down Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal, amid concern that sacred sites in the area have not been properly protected.
'Guardian Australia can reveal Adani has ignored repeated demands by Juru traditional owners to inspect “unauthorised” cultural assessments conducted by former directors of the embattled Kyburra Munda Yalga Aboriginal Corporation.
'The Indian conglomerate believes it can still rely on those assessments, despite the federal court ruling that Kyburra was not the appropriate “nominated body” to represent the
Juru people on a land-use agreement. ... '
June 21, 2018
'In April Adani applied to the federal Department of Environment and Energy to expand a dam by 450% and build a pipeline for its Carmichael coalmine, without an assessment under national environment laws.
'The project, North Galilee Water Scheme, involves expanding an existing 2.2 billion-litre dam to 10 billion litres and building associated infrastructure, including 110 kilometres of pipeline to transport water from the Suttor River and Burdekin Basin. The aim is to supply at least 12.5 gigalitres of fresh water to the Carmichael coalmine and other mines in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland. ...
'In its application, Adani said the water trigger applies only to projects associated with extraction. ...
'“It’s an incredibly narrow reading of the EPBC Act,” said Australian Conservation Foundation Stop Adani campaigner Christian Slattery. “Clearly it’s a project connected with coalmining.”
'“If this interpretation is accepted by the minister it further demonstrates the weaknesses of the EPBC Act and the need for a new generation of environmental laws.”
'Labor’s environment spokesperson Tony Burke said the government should ensure
a thorough and rigorous environmental assessment is conducted: “Adani cannot evade the scrutiny of the expert independent scientific committee, and the minister for the environment should not be facilitating an opportunity for Adani to avoid scientific scrutiny on its use of water.
'“The more I look at this [Carmichael] project and the way the company has dealt with
different layers of government the more sceptical I have become.”
'Lock the Gate Alliance campaign coordinator Carmel Flint said the proposal came
when “most of central Queensland is in drought” and the effects on other water users
and the environment must be considered.
'“Adani is apparently trying to sneak through approval for a massive water scheme without a full environmental assessment ... in our view that’s an activity which is absolutely required to go through the water trigger,” she said. ...
'Adani’s claims in the application, in relation to consultation with local Traditional Owners
and its track record on adherence to environmental regulations, are spurious at best. ...
'It makes no mention that its dodgy Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) is subject to legal challenge. ...
'The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists told the Productivity Commission review that mining exemptions make it difficult to measure the cumulative impacts of water extraction, “placing entire groundwater and interconnected surface water systems at risk”. ...
'Environmental Defenders Office Queensland chief executive Jo Bragg said the community was not given an opportunity to object to the granting of Adani’s water licence.
'She said the commission’s findings added to pressure on federal Labor to revoke Adani’s environmental approvals if it wins power.'