The draft report strongly recommends the project not proceed until Adani radically overhauls its plan to protect the black-throated finch.
The draft report strongly recommends the project not proceed until Adani radically overhauls its plan to protect the black-throated finch.

Adani criticised over plan to protect endangered bird

THE controversial report ordered by the Palaszczuk Government into the Carmichael coal mine's proposed management plan for an endangered bird has been lampooned as an "anti-Adani lobbying brochure" by the company.

The draft report strongly recommends the project not proceed until the Indian miner radically overhauls its plan to protect the black-throated finch.

The opening sentence of the report claims the existing management plan "does not meet the content requirements of an acceptable plan to manage an endangered species".

The 35-page report urges the Government to enforce a plethora of new conditions on the Indian miner, including some far beyond the terms of the environmental authority approved by the Department of Environment and Science.

"These enhancements should not be treated as options that may be undertaken at some date in the future," the report states.

"They need to be established as the basis for management prior to the commencement of impacts."

The report recommended introducing a trigger to suspend mining on the site within five years if it cannot be proven with 95 per cent certainty that finch numbers are unaffected.

It said the finch may struggle to populate the 33,000ha of grazing land set aside as a conservation area after losing quality habitat around the mine site.

The report repeatedly references the work of finch researcher April Reside, who was part of a contingent of environmentalists who attempted to convince Bill Shorten not to support the mine during a charter flight over the Galilee Basin paid for by the Australian Conservation Foundation in 2017.

"As we anticipated, this draft report reads like an anti-coal, anti-mining, anti-Adani lobbying brochure," an Adani spokeswoman said.

 "The report even references the work of anti-Adani campaigners, such as April Reside, who has been actively campaigning against the Carmichael project for years."

The report sets up a new flashpoint between the Palaszczuk Government and the mining industry, which has heavily criticised the Department of Environment for ordering an 11th hour review.

Review chair Brendan Wintle has repeatedly rejected Adani's criticisms that he lacks impartiality.

Professor Wintle also denied it was inappropriate for him to redistribute on social media an inaccurate news article critical of Adani and the finch management plan while leading the review.


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