Mining truck hauling rock in dusty coal mine

Lock the Gate Alliance, a grassroots organisation concerned with coal mining, coal seam gas and fraccing, say a bureaucratic claim is stifling the public’s ability to learn more about what happened in the lead up to Adani being granted its water licence by the Federal Government.

Lock the Gate Alliance lodged Freedom of Information requests in April 2019 attempting to learn whether other ministers pressured former Environment Minister, Melissa Price, to approve the plan the day before the Federal Election was called.

The alliance has since been told that because the role of environment minister has changed hands, those internal communications are no longer available and can’t be tracked down.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson, Carmel Flint, said the Federal Government’s claims that it couldn’t make the communication publicly available was an insult to the public’s right to know.

“This dubious interpretation of Freedom of Information law means that a new minister can entirely wipe the slate clean and prevent any public disclosure of relevant documents, even those requested under the previous minister,” Ms Flint said.

“If anything, this suggests there is more the government is hiding from the public in relation to the granting of the Water Management Plan to Adani.

“This is part of a wider pattern of Federal and State Governments obfuscating when it comes to mining projects like Adani that put our precious water resources at risk.

“Multinational mining giants have our democracy in a vice-like grip, and the public should be appalled that so much is being hidden from us.”

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications.
Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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