Graziers meet Queensland Government to talk Adani

10 April 2019. Graziers hand-delivered an open letter* to Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch today, calling on the state government to reject Adani’s water plan on scientific grounds including inadequate modelling and lack of analysis of cumulative impacts.

Central Queensland graziers Angus Emmott, Bruce Currie and William Graham joined Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt at the meeting with Minister Enoch in Brisbane at which they called on the Queensland Government to withhold approval of the plan until concerns are addressed.

FCA CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt said: “Once again, politics appear to have trumped science and due process at a Federal level. Today Minister Enoch assured us the Queensland government would not be rushed in the decision making process in relation to Adani’s water approval process.

“Queensland farming communities expect real leadership from our elected representatives, and a vision for a future that doesn’t put at risk the natural resources on which they depend.

“We call upon the proponent of the project, and all sides of politics, to set the political and propaganda games aside and allow due process and robust scientific analysis to be carried out by the regulator. “

Longreach grazier and FCA member Angus Emmott said: “The Federal Government’s decision to rush in and approve Adani’s water management plan on the eve of an election is deeply disappointing to the farming community.

“We desperately need the Queensland government to stand firm and do the right thing to ensure that our precious groundwater supplies are protected.”

Jericho grazier Bruce Currie said: “Enough of political games; our ability to produce food and fibre is being jeopardised by political leaders who continue to put agriculture and our water supply behind short-sighted interests.

“The bottom line is this project threatens the integrity of the Great Artesian Basin and the farmers and rural communities that depend on its water supply. We need our state leaders to resist that pressure and protect our future.”

Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontline of climate change, are a key part of its solution.

ENDS

Media inquiries: Fiona Davis, 0434 505 188, fiona@farmersforclimateaction.org.au

 

BACKGROUND

The open letter, recently published in The Courier Mail, states:

Dear Ministers Price and Enoch,

We are Queensland farmers and graziers and we’re calling on you to protect our livelihoods.

Water is the lifeblood of our regions. Without it, agriculture and our way of life will disappear. Yet governments are failing to protect it.

Right now, Adani’s proposal for a “groundwater dependent ecosystem management plan” in the Galilee Basin risks setting a dangerous precedent for farmers and graziers across Queensland. As Environment Ministers, their proposal goes to you for consideration.  

But approving this plan in light of the evidence below would be telling mining companies that no matter how devastating the potential risks projects pose to our water, they’ll receive the green light anyway.

Please consider:

 

  • The Federal Government’s own Bioregional Assessment research into the cumulative impacts of proposed mines for the Galilee region found a more than 95% chance of changing water flows in the local river basin (and this was despite only having data to numerically model 7 of the 17 proposed coal and coal seam gas projects);
  • Scientists are concerned Adani’s Carmichael mine could permanently dry up local springs in the area;
  • Australia's peak scientific body, the CSIRO, said that Adani’s “Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management” plan uses unverified data.

 

Approving Adani’s groundwater plan in light of this research would set a dangerous precedent for farmers facing other developments across Queensland.

Without bores and access to water, we can’t farm. We have to protect them. It’s that simple.

We’re asking you to reject Adani’s Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management plan, and expedite thorough on-ground research into the true potential risks of thermal coal and gas mining on local water systems across Queensland.

Climate change already is leading to longer, more severe droughts and unprecedented heatwaves. The last thing we need are new mines messing around with water, the lifeblood of our industry.

Please Ministers Price and Enoch, Stand up for Queensland Farmers.