Michael Berkman: Can the Adani mine go ahead?

The primary approvals for the Adani coal mine have already been issued some time ago by the Queensland government according to Queensland Greens MP Michael Berkman. The government is now dealing with the subordinate approvals that flow from the primary approvals.

Berkman told Green Left that this itself is a symptom of a flawed approvals process. The current subordinate appovals - which need to be finalised before the company can begin mining - are the Black Throated Finch Management Plan and the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan.

"The Black Throated Finch Management Plan has already been approved by the state last week," Berkman told Green Left on June 7.

"Less than a month before then, the state was very clear that Adani needed to go back and do better scientific work to demonstrate how and whether they could prevent the extinction of this species when they clear its best remaining habitat."

The state has now "backflipped on that without having addressed any of the grave concerns raised by an expert review that underpins that previous position of the government".

Berkman says that the groundwater management plan is expected to be approved in the coming week "under this fast tracked time line" despite the fact "there are plenty of gaps in the science there too".

"We risk losing the ancient and sacred Doongmabulla Springs [which could be completely drained] because they don't know where the water comes from.

"Irrespective of that, it looks like the government is hell bent on giving these approvals now."

Berkman believes that Queensland Labor has "taken all the wrong messages from the federal election outcome".

"They've bought into this narrative that the ALP got reamed in Queensland because they weren't supportive enough of Adani."

He thinks that they should have challenged the notion that regional jobs depend on the Adani mine going ahead.

"What they also didn't do is provide hope and alternative jobs for people in the regions," he said. "They didn't accept the reality that thermal coal is in terminal decline and that we need to provide alternatives."

Despite the state government's rush to tick off all approvals for the mine, the project still faces many barriers.

"They don't have insurance for the project. I understand they don't have a construction contractor sorted out.

"They've talked about self financing but we don't know what that looks like: will Mr Adani really throw good money after bad if this project stacks up as poorly as many analysts have said?

"They're still in court for the North Galilee Water Scheme Project... so they're not all the way there yet."

It is still very unclear whether the project will go ahead.

Finally, Berkman pointed to the huge protest movement that "is not going away any time soon". His comments were made on the day 500 people protested in King George Square against the Queensland government approvals.

The Adani mine "is a flash point for the environment movement across Queensland and across the county."

"We're not going to lie down and we've already seen plenty of direction action on this front.

"Any company that thinks they can charge ahead without getting plenty more of that sort of interruption from the community needs to have their head read."

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