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Environmental lawyers call for law change and an investigation into Adani’s ‘suitable operator’ following fresh allegations about shocking international track record

By July 10, 2020 July 31st, 2020 Media releases, Protecting the reef

MEDIA RELEASE

Environmental Justice Australia reiterate their call for a law change and an investigation into The Adani Group’s ‘suitable operator’ status in light of fresh allegations revealed by the ABC this morning relevant to the companies concerning international track record.    

The legal organisation is calling on the Palaszczuk Government to fix flaws in environmental protection laws that fail to take into account Adani’s terrible international track record.  They argue that track record should be considered in an investigation into Adani’s ‘suitable operator’ status, to consider whether their track record warrants cancelation or suspension of their suitable operator registration.  Cancellation or suspension would be grounds to cancel their licence to dig the Carmichael coal mine.  

Ariane Wilkinson, Senior Lawyer  from Environmental Justice Australia said, “The Adani Group has a well-documented history of failing to comply with the law, with disastrous consequences for people and the environment. The reported allegations brought by community members and filed in the Jharkhand High Court against an Adani Group company operating in Godda should be of concern to Australian governments.  In particular, for the Queensland government which needs to fix the gaping hole in their environmental law which fails to scrutinise offences which happen overseas.”  

There’s a reason we have background checks in the law. It’s to manage risk and protect us all. Not taking into account a company’s environmental record in overseas jurisdictions, puts our air, water and wildlife at severe risk from companies like Adani with shocking environmental records overseas,” said Senior Lawyer, Ariane Wilkinson. 

Overseas, Adani Group companies have an appalling record of environmental destruction and prosecutions, including illegal dealings, bribery and social devastation. They face allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering. Under Queensland’s environmental laws, none of this record is taken into account when assessing Adani for ‘suitable operator status. 

A suitable operator is a person or corporation who has been registered by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection as being suitable to carry out an environmentally relevant activity (ERA). This suitable operator register is required under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 in order to hold an environmental authority. 

EJA briefing note – The Adani Brief Update: The Adani Group’s environmental and human rights record 

Background: Queensland approves all environmental activity applicants despite ‘disqualifying events’ 

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