DURING the Qld Government’s community forum at Cannonvale last week, Minister Lynham made several public comments that are open to scrutiny.
Minister Lynham has consistently underplayed the potential impact of the unlimited volume of free underground water that Adani is licensed to extract from the Great Artesian Basin
He compares Adani’s expected take of 4.7 gigalitres per year to the water use of a Burdekin cane farm.
Cane grows only in high rainfall areas and it needs a lot of water.
Burdekin cane farms do not use water from the Great Artesian Basin. An annual take by Adani of 4.7 gigalitres per year is more than 270 gigalitres over the sixty year life of the mine, which is a volume about half that of Sydney harbour.
The Minister confused the audience and the other politicians, by saying that Adani has paid $20 million for a surface water licence and questioned why they would do this if they have so much free water from the Great Artesian Basin.
It’s a good question.
The answer is that the water extracted from mine pits will be so contaminated with toxins from the coal, that it will require significant and expensive treatment to be suitable for anything, and still not as potable water. The $20 million for surface water is for use in the office and workers camp, and is probably a cheap option by comparison.
The Adani mine remains a