Peter Hannam reports in the Brisbane Times (18.9.18) on news of Adani's plans to utilise billions of litres of groundwater in central Queensland, after the Federal Government decided the company's Carmichael coal mine project did not need a full environmental impact assessment.
'Adani's proposed giant coal mine has cleared another hurdle with the federal government waiving the requirement for a full environmental assessment for a pipeline that will extract billions of litres of water from a river in drought-ravaged central Queensland.
'The environment department said it would require only "preliminary documentation" for a 110-kilometre pipeline aimed in part at serving the Carmichael coal mine. The pipe would draw 12.5 billion litres a year from the Suttor River.
'Environmental groups are angry Adani's North Galilee Water Scheme can proceed without activating the so-called water trigger that requires a more thorough assessment of the impacts coal mines and coal seam gas projects have on water resources.
'Aside from the pipeline, the scheme also involves "upgrading" a dam to increase capacity fourfold to 10 billion litres. Adani has said its project would also serve other mines such as the China Stone coal venture.
'Carmel Flint, a campaigner for Lock the Gate Alliance, said it was "an absolute disgrace" the government had dropped requirements for a full environmental impact assessment [EIS] when much smaller projects had to compile them. These include the 19-kilometre Olive Downs pipeline involving similar threatened species as Adani's.'