The Draining of the Great Artesian Basin
The great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underwater reserves of the world and services around 200 towns and settlements. During this time of severe drought this water is vitally needed to save farms and livestock from perishing in the biggest drought Australia has ever faced.
In the face of such a horrendous drought affecting farmers in the East of Australia, how does the Liberal party justify allowing a foreign mining company (Adani) to remove millions of litres of water (https://www.smh.com.au/cqstatic/gvdane/adaniawl.PDF) from the artesian basin in order to further profits that go overseas to Adani bank accounts in the Cayman Islands resulting in no tax paid in Australia. In short why give an overseas company our resources using our water, sorely needed in times of severe drought, so they can make a tax free profit from Australia?
“In Queensland, mining and industry hold just over 1% (by number) of the water licences linked to the Great Artesian Basin but account for 10% of the water extracted. Coal seam gas accounts for a further 22% of water, with no licensing required. In contrast, livestock production accounts for 88% of water licences but just 46% of the extracted water.
The Carmichael mine’s 12,000ML forecasted use (equivalent to 4% of the water extracted from the Great Artesian Basin in Queensland last year) would put it alongside the biggest annual users of Great Artesian Basin water, such as the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia, which currently draws 10,000ML each year.”
Adani is an Indian company and all profits from the company are passed to their bank accounts in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxation issues.
Now in the normal course of events, a water licence application is subject to public scrutiny. However just before their licence was granted an amendment to the bill on Licencing to remove public scrutiny was put in place so that no one could scrutinise this application as was done with prior applications by other miners such as the New Acland for example. This means that Adani can now extract 26 million litres of water per day, or around 10 to 22 percent of water from the basin each and every year for 60 years or UNTIL IT RUNS OUT At the rate of extraction and if the drought continues this could quite possibly run out within 20 years. The area would then become a desert and farming would cease. This means the mine itself would also cease operation (by then they would have extracted almost all the coal available anyway) and those few jobs created would eventually be lost.
The benefit would be to the Indian ADANI mine company which would have extracted our resources for their profit and the politicians who care more about their pockets than preserving Australia’s water resources. Everyone else would be left high and dry.
This demonstrates that politics is NOT about the interests of the people such as farmers and workers, but about preserving the profits of a foreign company looting our resources.