Indian coal company Adani accused of ‘flouting environmental laws’ in its plans to clear habitat of black-throated finch
theguardian.com, Tuesday 4 March 2014 06.53 GMT
The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, must demand a coal company halt plans to conduct seismic surveys in the Galilee Basin, Greenpeace has said, so the government can make an environmental assessment of “substantial threats” to an endangered species of finch.
Indian coal company Adani Mining Pty Ltd is planning on conducting the surveys at the site of its proposed Carmichael coalmine in the Galilee Basin, Queensland, and Greenpeace has accused Adani of “flouting environmental laws” by not referring the project to the federal government for assessment.
The surveys are likely to involve mass clearance of vegetation and trees in almost 4,000 hectares of black-throated finch habitat, Greenpeace said, and will have a “significant impact” on the species. The finch is listed as endangered under federal and state law.
It said the mining company was taking advantage of a grey area within the law which appears to have allowed Adani to make its own decision on whether or not its activities require reporting.
“If you’re going to undertake an activity of any kind that might have impact on endangered native species, you’re required to notify the federal Environmental Department … so that they can decide whether or not a full environmental assessment is needed,” Louise Matthiesson, Queensland campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, told Guardian Australia.
“Adani haven’t done that. They said they don’t think they’d need to because the activity won’t have a significant impact on the finch,” she said.