Adani road works at the Carmichael Mine.
Adani road works at the Carmichael Mine. Roslyn Budd

YOUR SAY: Delving into the mind of an Adani supporter

Delving into the mind of an Adani supporter who works with the mining corporation in a government capacity (who I cannot name) was a fascinating experience.

The biggest gripe he has with Australia is its treatment of Adani (he called it a "witch-hunt") and the concerns he says that this could cause future relationships with foreign enterprise; especially that with Indian corporations.

He said Australia "is shooting itself in the foot" with its appallingly negative, targeted and embarrassingly racist approach to the Adani mine.

He finds it alarming that the Chinese mine "literally next door to Adani" is flying under the radar, as are the Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer mining projects.

He believes that Australia should be the last nation on earth to stop mining because "we are so good at it," and we mine in such a way that has little environmental consequence due to stringent regulations.

He said other countries don't legislate environmental impact assessments nor do they monitor and audit mining as closely as Australia does.

Most mining projects are based on the Galilee Basin due to the prevalence of coal in this region. The Galilee Basin's connectivity to the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) allows for access to a seemingly unlimited supply of groundwater (in the short term). Mining requires a huge amount of water.

According to my source, thanks to nearby dams, the GAB won't be the sole water supplier for the Adani project. The mines have unlimited water access to the nearby dams.

He believes the mining companies are unfairly treated with regards to water access as they pay for water access at far higher rates than that of the farmers in the same region thanks to water subsidies provided to the farmers. He said farming, especially cotton farming, requires more GAB water than the Adani mine.

While he likes the idea of nuclear power for Australia, he believes that there is no point for the government to invest in nuclear power as we don't have the expertise on the ground to manage or maintain a plant (unless we can source this from overseas).

The French are so successful with their nuclear plants as they have so few "meddling Greenies," whereas countries like Germany and Australia would face backlash from the left for considering such a project.

Some issues he had with Adani was their treatment and belittling of women and "cultural issues".

When asked to elaborate on this, he said that Adani are used to having free reign on whatever development project they set their hand to in Asia and they're not used to being told to tow the line.

He said they were incredibly difficult to work with, especially in government negotiations.

He said Glencore are bullies and are doing more damage to the environment than Adani, but this is not publicised.

Lucas mines (Chinese owned) have been granted approval to start in the Galilee Basin despite the fact they don't have a rail line.

He believes they will just stockpile the coal until the railway is complete (which they really shouldn't be doing). Railway lines should always be built before the mine.

He is concerned that the Chinese and the USA are feeding fake news and reports to "soft-minded Australian Greenies" about the environmental damage mines cause so that Australia's economy collapses.

Environmental issues were obviously not a concern for the Adani supporter. Mining is catastrophic to the environment.

The Galilee Basin mines are located in a region that had experienced prolonged drought. While the GAB is one of the largest underground water reserves in the world, it will not withstand continued excessive use. Water pressure from this basin has been on a steady decline.

Grandad spoke to me about how much the water pressure from the basin noticeably dropped in his lifetime (when he was managing his sheep property), and how deeply concerned he is for its longevity.

What is troubling is the water licence granted to Adani puts no limit on the water it can take from the GAB. No limit whatsoever, on a limited resource.

Perhaps I am a "soft-minded Greenie," but from what I have seen, read, and studied, I am of the firm belief that mining in Australia is unequivocally not sustainable.

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