Graziers fear opening up the Galilee Basin to coal mining will bring the cattle industry to its knees.
Graziers fear opening up the Galilee Basin to coal mining will bring the cattle industry to its knees. AARON SKINN

How this Mackay group plans to go up against Adani

A MACKAY-BASED environment group will today launch an advertising campaign attacking Adani's track record on water.

The move comes after Adani this month launched both a "know the facts” social media campaign to "cut through the hysteria and lies” about the Carmichael Mine and development of the Galilee Basin.

The Defend Our Water - Not One Drop for Adani campaign will include TV, radio, digital, print and billboard ads in Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay in the lead-up to the Federal Election.

"We've taken out these ads to make sure the community knows that before Adani has even been granted final approvals for their mine, they're already breaking the rules,” Mackay Conservation Group's Peter McCallum said.

"Queensland has laws to protect our water, but Adani clearly doesn't play by the rules. How can we trust them to look after Queensland's water? With almost 60 per cent of Queensland still in drought, we can't afford to put at risk the water that so many livelihoods rely upon”.

Earlier this month, Adani paid a $13,055 fine after the company released water containing nearly double the amount of contaminants allowed from Abbot Point into the Caley Valley Wetlands.

Adani is allowed to release contaminated water that contains a maximum of 30mg/L of "total suspended solids”, which includes coal sediment.

A sample taken on the day the water was released, analysed by an accredited third-party, confirmed it contained 58mg/L of total suspended solids.

A government environment official took a sample the next which returned a result of 33mg/L.

This is the second time Adani has been fined for breaching its environmental licence.

The company is still fighting a prosecution over its 2017 release of contaminated water from Abbot Point during Cyclone Debbie. That water was found to contain eight times the authorised concentration of suspended solids.

Beef grazier Mick Alexander, who runs a property west of Rockhampton, said graziers had been doing it tough after years of drought.

"If farmers in the Galilee lose reliable access to groundwater, the local cattle industry will be brought to its knees,” he said.

Central Queensland farmer Simon Gedda, who runs a beef property north of Marlborough, said once groundwater was gone, it was gone forever.

"That's why we can't risk giving Adani the keys to this most precious resource,” he said.

"I am deeply troubled by the way the Federal Government signed off on Adani's water plan at the very last minute before the election was called."

Adani says it will not use water from the Great Artesian Basin and is not permitted to pump water from the Sutton River when there is a drought.

The company cannot let the water level in the Doongmabulla Springs drop lower than 20cm.

"Adani must monitor and report to the government about the level of water in the springs,” Adani has said.

"There are regulatory conditions that state the water level at the springs cannot drop lower than 20cm.

"The mine will have more than 100 monitoring bores to observe underground water levels.”

The project is awaiting State Government approval.

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