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Australian green body drags Adani group to court over mine project

Melbourne: An Australian environmental lobby today dragged Adani group in the Land court of Queensland, objecting to the Indian mining giant's $16.5 billion Carmichael Coal mine project in the coal-rich state on the ground that it would endanger biodiversity in the region.

 Australian green body drags Adani group to court over mine project

Adani group head Gautam Adani. Reuters

"Adani's mine will be the third biggest coal mine in the world. It will emit more carbon pollution and will warm the world more than any other proposed development," Coast and Country's Derec Davies said today after launching a five week legal action objecting to the project.

"This case will draw on testimonies from water experts, climate and marine scientists, economists and financial experts and our case will demonstrate that this poses unacceptable risks. We will demonstrate that this dangerous mine should not be approved and that Adani should not be allowed to operate in Queensland," Davies said.

Covering 280 sq km, the Carmichael mine would be Australia's largest and it would use a new 300 km rail line to transfer up to 60 m tonnes of coal a year to overseas markets.

Adani has argued the mine in the frontier Galilee Basin will create thousands of jobs and inject millions of dollars into Queensland's economy, including coal royalties.

Arguing that the mine presented unacceptable climate change dangers and ecological risks, Derec said, "This mine will have severe impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, will threaten the tourism industry in Queensland and will negatively impact the economy."

"The mine also threatens precious water resources and rare biodiversity," he said.

"This mine was given special treatment from the former Queensland government with royalty breaks and funding of its railway. The mining industry had too much power over decisions made by the former government," he said.

Coast and Country is an independent body of lawyers from Environmental Defenders Office Queensland.

"They took at face value the misleading claims about the extent to which Queensland will benefit. Part of our case is that Queensland will not benefit from this mine. They ignored the risks to our water and climate. They gave little consideration to the risks to the Great Barrier Reef and the unique plants and animals of Queensland," Davies said.

"Our case will demonstrate that this mine poses an unacceptable risk to the groundwater resources, including the oasis at Doongmabulla Springs which are likely to be one million years old," he added.

Claiming that the mine will use 12.5 billion litres of water every year, he said, "that's unacceptable for the driest continent in the world and threatens the viability of our continent's lifeblood."

"We will demonstrate that this dangerous and risky mine should not be approved," Davies said.


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Updated Date: Mar 31, 2015 15:02:11 IST