Letter from Adani to the Department of Environment and Science requesting a meeting to discuss the BTFMP
Letter from Adani to the Department of Environment and Science requesting a meeting to discuss the BTFMP Jack Evans

Carmichael stand-off continues as more confusion arises

ADANI has reached out to meet with the Department of Environment and Science to clarify the next steps for the Carmichael project.

The Department of Environment and Science has become a figure of ridicule following Adani's latest hurdle, the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan, but yesterday the department stated their case.

Questions were raised earlier in the week by Adani representatives, local political members and media as to how the department could possibly reject Adani's management plan.

Adani previously claimed the DES was hands-on in the formulation of the plan, even suggesting the department may have misled the management plan.

A DES spokesperson has since made moves to clear air in the debate by describing the department's role in Adani's BTFMP.

"Department of Environment and Science did not draft or otherwise develop Adani's Black-Throated Finch Management Plan," the spokesperson said.

"DES has provided feedback to Adani on multiple versions of its BTFMP.

"Part of this process included an independent and expert scientific review of the BTFMP to ensure it provides the best possible strategies for Adani to ensure best outcomes for the species concerned.

"DES has worked with the company in good faith over this period to assist it to finalise the plan."

On Wednesday, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch accused the Indian miner of stalling the finalisation of the management plan, which Adani strongly rebutted.

"Minister Enoch's claim that Adani is holding up their approval of the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan is incorrect and dishonest," an Adani spokesperson said.

"The report was sent to Adani on Monday, February 18, and we provided our feedback on Wednesday, February 20. We've done everything asked of us and in double-quick time.

"In our response to the report we also requested an urgent meeting with Department of Environment and Science officials to determine how we can finalise the plan as quickly as possible."

In a letter, Adani chief executive Lucas Dow asked to meet with the department but the DES had not yet taken the company up on the offer.

"It seems to us that the department has not so far engaged in a meaningful way with the comments that we have provided to date," Mr Dow wrote.

"We would like your assurance that the invitation to comment on the final report is more than an empty gesture."

The Adani spokesperson said the next step for Carmichael was to meet with the department but no response had been received before Friday afternoon.

"This next step is very important and will determine the next steps the company takes for the project, we want to meet with the department as soon as possible" they said.