A water scheme connected to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine has been reopened to public comment. Photo: Macarthur Coal Ltd
A water scheme connected to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine has been reopened to public comment. Photo: Macarthur Coal Ltd

Adani’s environmental progress stalled by water demands

A CLERMONT water scheme, connected to the controversial Adani mine, has again opened for public comment after environmental groups pursued the Federal Government in court.

In June, the Australian Conservation Foundation won its Federal Court appeal against the assessment of the North Galilee Water Scheme

The Federal Government was forced to concede the case, admitting it failed to consider public submissions and even lost some submissions.

The June decision created a three-month stumbling block, and the Adani water scheme only reopened for public comment this week.

An Adani spokesperson said the mining company had been forced to withdraw and resubmit its referral for the pipeline infrastructure, which includes a 110km water supply pipeline, pump station infrastructure and the expansion of an existing dam in the Belyando -Suttor River catchment.

“The North Galilee Water Scheme project is the same project as previously referred; however, the new referral contains additional information on environmental management, water harvesting and ecosystems relative to the project footprint.”

The water scheme, once operational, would pump 12.5 gigalitres of water from the Belyando-Suttor River catchment, as approved by the mining company’s water licence.

Despite the case being celebrated by environmentalists, Adani said regardless of the water scheme’s approval the Carmichael Mine and Rail Project would be unaffected.

“Work has already commenced on the Carmichael Mine and Rail Project and, importantly, the North Galilee Water Scheme project is not required for these construction activities,” they said.

The public can submit comments relating to any environmental or heritage protection concerns relating to the water scheme until September 30.

For more information visit: http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/referralslist/

Specific referral number: EPBC 2019/8508