REVEALED: Investigation launched into Adani port release

Activists are asking for further tests to determine whether water from Abbot Point, which spilled into an adjacent wetlands, was polluted.
Activists are asking for further tests to determine whether water from Abbot Point, which spilled into an adjacent wetlands, was polluted. Queensland Government

THE State Government has begun investigating the release of polluted water into the Caley Valley wetlands from Adani's neighbouring Abbot Point coal port, near Bowen.

Environmentalists claim the release showed Adani did not have the capacity to operate in sensitive environments, but the State Government said the port appeared to be operating within licensed limits.

The company has also defended its operations.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said it became aware last week of the satellite imagery which appears to show sediment-laden water flowing from the Abbott Point coal terminal settlement ponds into the Caley Valley wetland.

It said sites such as Abbott Point Coal Terminal were allowed to release water of suitable quality under certain conditions of their environmental authority and they can apply for a temporary emissions licence.

It said Abbot Point was granted a temporary emissions licence during Tropical Cyclone Debbie which allowed for a temporary increase in the release limits for total suspended solids.

Abbot Point Coal Terminal before Cyclone Debbie tore through the area.
Abbot Point Coal Terminal before Cyclone Debbie tore through the area. Google Earth

"Initial monitoring results indicate releases to Caley Valley Wetland were in accordance with the temporary emission licence conditions,'' the department said.

"EHP's investigation is continuing, including accessing historical satellite imagery to compare wetland colour and depth fluctuations.''

The Mackay Conservation Group said it was dismayed by the spill in 5000 hectare wetlands that were home to more 40,000 shorebirds during the wet season.

"These images show the lack of capacity Adani has to operate in a sensitive environment," said Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator, Peter McCallum.

"It's obvious that Adani doesn't know how to manage its existing facilities in a way that will protect the wetlands, or perhaps the company just doesn't care.

"Nobody should be able to get away with causing harm as terrible as this without facing severe penalties."

"We have no confidence that Adani will be able to manage the environmental impacts of the port expansion or any other aspect of its massive coal mining operation."

"This is further evidence of Adani's poor environmental record. Australia can't risk allowing them to set up business here."

Caley Valley Wetland covers an area about 5000ha and is home to more than 40,000 shorebirds during the wet season.

Compared with pictures in 2016 and 2015, the most recent shot show a black mass spreading down the Caley Valley Wetland.

Released by the Queensland Government, the satellite image was taken to document damage caused by the cyclone in the Whitsunday region.

Mr McCallum wanted further tests to determine how much the wetland had been impacted.

Abbot Point was established in 1984 and was leased to Adani through their Mundra Port on a 99-year lease in 2011.

The company planned to expand the port to handle increased coal exports, predominantly from the proposed Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

Adani was confident their handling of the terminal during the cyclone met industry standards.

"In the wake of Cyclone Debbie, Adani has been in close liaison with DEHP to ensure it meets rigorous standards," the spokesperson said.

"In this regard water testing is ongoing and the department is being actively consulted."

Topics:  abbot point adani caley valley coal cyclone debbie mackay conservation group wetland

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Anzac values shine through at Airlie Beach march

Airlie Beach / Whitsunday RSL President Terry Brown walks alongside the parade with pride.

MUCH has changed in the 102 years since the battle of Gallipoli.

Record turn out for Cannonvale dawn service

A Navy Cadet looks on over the Cannonvale Anzac Day Dawn Service.

Record turn out for Cannonvale dawn service.

Chamber forum cuts through the confusion

MEETING A NEED: It was a packed house at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre last Thursday for a business recovery forum hosted by Whitsunday Regional Council and the region's two chambers of commerce.

Category C funding was explained at the Chamber forum last week.

Local Partners

On the frontline for the Whitsunday community

Andrew Sloane thinks people should remember the sacrifice of the Anzacs as if it happened yesterday.

REVEALED: When TK Maxx will open in Toowoomba

European chain department store TK Maxx is opening in Toowoomba on Saturday, May, 6.

The global megastore has revealed when it will open its doors

What public holidays are left in 2017

HOLIDAYS: Out and about at Dicky Beach are Janine and Cooper, 3, Smith with Tamara and Harrison Polzin, 18 months.

THE Easter break is almost over but there are plenty of days off yet

Billionaire Elon Musk and Amber Heard hit Shingle Inn

Actor Amber Heard and billionaire boyfriend Elon Musk have begun enjoying Queensland.

New Netflix doco on JonBenet Ramsay's death makes huge claim

A new documentary will air claims that child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay was murdered by a paedo sex ring.

New claims that JonBenet Ramsay was killed by a paedophile sex ring

Movie review: Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers on all fronts

Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

Does Guardians Vol. 2 live up to high expectations set by original?

Sir Elton John hospitalised with rare infection

CROCODILE ROCKER: Sir Elton John will head to Mackay in September for the first stop of his Australian tour.

Elton John cancels shows after becoming violently ill.

Sunshine Coast singers out to turn chairs on The Voice

NEXT BIG THING? Tune in to see Glasshouse Mountains folk artist Benjamin James Caldwell on The Voice.

Do our Coast folk singers have what it takes to turn judges' chairs?

Former Glee star Lea Michele posts nude selfie to Instagram

Former Glee star Lea Michele has posted a very revealing snapshot

Gold Logie winner defends Molly Meldrum's Logies hijack

Samuel Johnson has defended Molly Meldrum after Logies speech

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Family loses everything to fire then cyclone

The Williams family has been doing it tough since a fire destroyed their home and Cyclone Debbie destroyed what they'd rebuilt.

A family of five was left with nothing after Cyclone Debbie.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!