MEDIA RELEASE: THE ABBOTT-TURNBULL-MORRISON GOVERNMENT IS TURNING ITS BACK ON THE WATER TRIGGER
THE ABBOTT-TURNBULL-MORRISON GOVERNMENT IS TURNING ITS BACK ON THE WATER TRIGGER
Anyone who is concerned about water resources, whether it be from an environmental or an agricultural perspective, should be alarmed by the Government’s decision not to invoke the water trigger on a dam and pipeline associated with the Adani project. The dam and pipeline are only being built as part of the project to commence a large coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
If the coal mine were not going ahead the pipeline and dam would not be going ahead.
When Labor introduced the water trigger the language in the Act was clear. The test is whether or not the action involves a coal mine. Given that these actions would not be taking place at all were it not for the large coal mine, it simply doesn’t make sense for the Government to claim that these actions are not involved with the coal mine. They are being put in place by the coalmining company as part of the coal mining project.
The water trigger was put into national environmental law because of the critical importance to environment and to agriculture of looking after Australia’s precious water resources.
If the Government thinks it can get away with a circuitous argument to dodge the full scrutiny of the Expert Scientific Committee then anyone who cares about water should be alarmed.
It may well be that the Expert Scientific Committee determines that these particular water actions are not in themselves a problem. But that should be advice from the experts not something that occurs on the whim of the new Environment Minister.
TUESDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2018