Hurdles for Adani’s Carmichael Mine

A signage at the Carmichael coal mine site. Photo: ABC

It is nearly a decade – a long walk for Adani pursuing to build the Carmichael Mine in Central Queensland. The greatest challenge against this mega-project is not about the growing unpopularity of coal in the face of global heating, but rather from the unabated resistance of Indigenous people’s groups and conservationists.

Adani is fighting hard. In February, the ABC revealed the company hired the law firm, AJ & Co since last year to act as a “trained attacked dog“. It is reported that it had drafted a commercial proposal called “Taking the Gloves Off” for this purpose.

News reports circulating this week said Adani has given the federal environment department five days to release the lists of people involved in reviewing its groundwater plans. The reports said Adani wants to ensure scientists from CSIRO and Geoscience Australia are not “coal activists” who could be bias in their plan assessment – triggering uproar among Australian public.

Greenpeace welcomes underwater investigation

The report has alarmed CSIRO staff representatives, who said it indicated Adani had “a deliberate strategy” to pressure scientists by searching for personal information it could use to try to “discredit their work”.

Sam Popovski, secretary of the CSIRO staff association, said it was the first time it came to their attention that names of scientists involved in a scientific process have been requested.

“We’re very concerned on behalf of our scientists at the CSIRO that a big company would go into looking at the personal lives of our members, including trawling their social media, in order to potentially discredit their work,” he said.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack comes to Adani’s defense. He said Adani told his department in February that it simply wants to know who is involved in the review. He said Adani seeks peace of mind knowing that it is being treated fairly and that the review will not be hijacked by activists with a political, as opposed to scientific, agenda.

Adani passed its final environmental approval despite controversies and construction work on its Carmichael Mine is expected to take off soon after nearly nine years of planning. More here.

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