Oct 08, 2020

Activists target Adani work site in water protest

Activists target Adani work site in water protest

Police were called to a construction site on Adani’s Carmichael coal project rail corridor this morning, where a group of activists was staging a protest – with one chained to a cattle grid.

Frontline Action on Coal said the action came as Adani faced court proceedings over its scheme to pump water from the Suttor River.

An Adani Australia spokeswoman confirmed around midday that police had escorted the activists off site.

“While supporters looked on, Ben Winch locked himself to a cattle grid on Stratford Road near Mt Coolon, stopping Adani’s construction work for their rail corridor,” Frontline Action on Coal shared on social media.

“Mr Winch, a writer from the Adelaide Hills, said ‘Adani wants to take almost as much water from the Suttor as all the agriculture users combined. And that’s just the Suttor. It also has an unlimited licence to deplete and pollute the Great Artesian Basin, the only source of fresh water for hundreds of towns and farms across inland Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory’.”

Adani Australia said anti-coal activists had thrown rocks at project workers’ vehicles as they travelled to work this morning and kicked their car doors.

“Police arrived at the site early where full-time activist Scott Daines and his friends from Frontline Action on Coal were located since before sunrise, including one who has come all the way from Adelaide to chain himself to a cattle grid,” a spokeswoman said.

“Police have now escorted the activists off site. The views of this small group of extremists don’t represent the views of the majority of Queenslanders, who just want to be able to get to work safely, to get on with doing their jobs, earn a living and help our economy recover from the COVID-19 recession.

“These individuals believe their opinions matter more than the law. This type of protest is a pointless sideshow that wastes police resources when they are needed elsewhere.”

Adani’s water use is being challenged in the Federal Court, with the Australian Conservation Foundation appealing the Morrison Government’s decision to approve its North Galilee Water Scheme Project.

The project comprises a water pipeline, pump station infrastructure and the expansion of an existing dam in the Belyando/Suttor River catchment, to supply water to the Carmichael mine.