Adani ‘admin error’ ends in court

QUEENSLAND'S environment department is prosecuting miner Adani over information initially omitted from its 2017/18 annual return.

An Adani spokeswoman said the miner self-reported the omission of the permitted activity - included clearing about 5.8 hectares - in September last year

"We have learned today that the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and science has chosen to prosecute Adani Mining for an administrative error in our 2017/18 Annual Return for the Carmichael mine, which we self-reported in September last year," the spokeswoman said.

"We have been notified that the prosecution will proceed despite the fact all relevant works were legal and fully complied with our project conditions, and despite there being no environmental harm.

"We will assess the documentation relating to the prosecution in consultation with the Department of Environment and science, and participate in the relevant legal processes required to resolve this matter.

"Improvements to internal processes were introduced at the time the administrative error was discovered and reported by us to ensure paperwork errors of this nature are avoided in the future."

An Environment Department spokesperson confirmed the prosecution, listed for mention at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 16.

"The Department of Environment and science (DES) has commenced prosecution proceedings against Adani Mining for providing false or misleading information.

"The offence is in contravention of section 480 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994," they said in a statement

"The prosecution relates to information contained in Adani's 2017/2018 annual return for its Carmichael mine. The annual return requires information about planned and actual disturbance of land at the mine.

"The department alleges that Adani's annual return contained false and misleading information about the disturbance already undertaken at the mine during the annual return period."

The department also revealed it had cleared the miner of illegal clearing activities levelled at it last year.

"DES has also received allegations relating to clearing of land undertaken by Adani at the Carmichael mine site in 2018 for the construction of dewatering bores, and in 2019 for the construction of drill pads and LOX lines.

"DES has formed the view that Adani has not contravened the applicable conditions of its approval and that view is confirmed by barrister Stephen Keim S.C.

"These proceedings do not affect work currently under way at the mine site and do not relate to the recent approval of the mine."