Adani rejects final findings of controversial finch report
THE final report into Adani's Black-throated Finch Management Plan, released late on Monday night, has the Carmichael mine sitting on shaky ground after the Department of Environment and Science announced the independent panel's review had all but doomed the Indian miner's plans.
The final report contained only a handful of minor changes to the draft, including rephrased sentences and added or subtracted words while the executive summary remained unchanged.
However, an Adani spokesperson said all formal references to the work of April Reside, a black-throated finch expert, had been removed.
Ms Reside was on board the charter flight, bankrolled by the Australian Conservation Foundation, which took Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for a fly-over of the Carmichael site in early 2018.
She told The Australian she feared for the finch's existence if the mine were to go ahead, following her meeting with Mr Shorten last year.
"We've got very good evidence to show that the conditions that are on the (Carmichael) mine as they stand will very likely send the black-throated finch extinct," Ms Reside said last year.
A DES spokesperson said the next step was for Adani to work with the department to address the findings.
"Adani now has the opportunity to consider the review panel's recommendations and provide a response to the department," the spokesperson said.
"While there is no statutory time-frame for this to occur, DES has suggested to Adani that the above process be undertaken at the company's earliest opportunity.
"DES has offered to meet with Adani to assist the company in working through the panel's recommendations and to progress any revisions necessary to the BTFMP."
Adani re-grouped on Tuesday to make plans for the company's next steps.
"To say we're disappointed in the final version is an understatement," a spokesperson said.
"The department has ignored the feedback that we provided to them last week on the plan and has not addressed the issues we raised."
She said the report still contained unverified opinions regarding climate change and other projects in the Galilee Basin which she believed were completely outside the scope of the Black-throated Finch Management Plan.
"We reject the report and its findings in their entirety," she said.
"We remain committed to advancing our project and to this end we will continue to work with the Queensland Government so that these plans can be concluded and we can get on with delivering the thousands of jobs our project will deliver."
Adani doubled down on its claims that the independent review panel lacked the political integrity to carry out the review.
CEO Lucas Dow told The Morning Bulletin that the management plan was largely based on advice given by the DES and he was perplexed as to how the department could then not approve the plan.
"The obvious question now is what have they been guiding us with?" Mr Dow said.
"And why did they lead us up the garden path in terms of formulating the plan?"