Aussie farmers say enough is enough, join alliance over Adani water licence
Australian farmers are angry about the special deal struck by the Queensland government to give Adani free water for its proposed coal mine, with Farmers for Climate Action announcing it has signed up to the Stop Adani Alliance as its newest member.
Longreach farmer Angus Emmott today launched a petition calling on the Queensland Premier to rescind the water licences that allow Adani access to unlimited water for 60 years.
He said: “All over the country, farmers are battling to stop fossil fuel mining and fracking on their land. Nearly 90% of Queensland is currently drought declared, so why are we giving an Indian billionaire access to unlimited groundwater for a new coal mine?
“Our farming operation is entirely reliant on groundwater. If Adani’s mine messes with our groundwater, the livelihoods of all those who depend on the Great Artesian Basin are at risk. The state government has also stripped away farmers’ legal rights to appeal the licence, so farmers can’t even take Adani to court,” Mr Emmott said.
John Graham, a grazier from the central highlands, added: “I am dismayed that Adani would be able to draw excessive amounts of water without standard regulatory impact approval should its dismal project proceed.”
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt said the group had decided to join the Stop Adani Alliance because the proposed development of the Queensland Galilee Basin would result in serious impacts to groundwater, biodiversity, rural communities and the climate.
“No one can tell us, with any confidence, what impact this project could have on water supplies from underground aquifers because there is no independent or government oversight, or trigger levels that would halt mining,” Mrs Morgan-Schmidt said.
Farmers for Climate Action committee member Anika Molesworth said more needed to be done to ensure rural communities and farmers can easily switch to clean energy.
“We know that to address climate change we must move away from burning fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Unlike coal and gas, renewable energy can safely co-exist with agriculture and it keeps rural communities healthy as well as wealthy. We have more than enough sun and wind to meet our energy needs.”
In Queensland, the proposed Adani-owned Carmichael coal mine has been granted unlimited access to groundwater. The mine, the biggest of nine proposed for the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton, is expected to draw 26 million litres of water per day from its pits. Over its life this would total 355 billion litres of water.
Notes for Editors:
- To view or sign the petition go to: https://www.change.org/p/premier-annastacia-palaszczuk-protect-the-great-artesian-basin-and-support-aussie-farmers/share?after_sign_exp=default&just_signed=true
- Farmers for Climate Action is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organisation of 2000 farmers and leaders in agriculture committed to tackling climate change.
- Farmers for Climate Action has joined the Stop Adani Alliance, an alliance of 13 groups, representing 1.5 million Australians who have come together to stop Adani’s coal mine, rail and port project. See here for the Alliance Declaration and member organisations.
- 87.47% of Queensland has now been drought declared (March 2017 figures)