"Tears shed" over Adani approval
Queensland's Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch says she shed tears over her government’s approval of Adani's Carmichael coal mine.
Speaking at an environmental awards night in Cairns, reported by the ABC, Ms Enoch said that with regard to the regulatory approval; “Me personally, there have been some tears shed on this”.
“But my role will always be to uphold the regulator and I'll fight every day to make sure that the regulator is able to what they can do in this state — what they must do in this state — and hold those companies to account,” she said.
Ms Enoch did not directly name the mine, but attendees have reported there was no doubt that Carmichael is what she was talking about.
She also criticised the state’s environmental regulation.
“The role of the Environment and Science Department has been to uphold the environmental conditions that were applied to that particular project,” she said.
“There is no legislative power for a politician to intervene in environmental conditions — that is an absolute flaw in the legislation.
“There's many people that don't like the outcome that the regulator arrived at, and that is where we're at.
“The story now of course — my role is to ensure that the regulator can absolutely hold every single company in this state to account,” Ms Enoch said.
The Environment Minster later released a statement saying her comments and the tears she said were not personal, they “were about how this issue has divided traditional owners and the Queensland community”.
“Understanding that this is an issue that people care a great deal about, I addressed the audience about the regulator's recent decision on the Carmichael mine project's groundwater plan,” she said.
“I have shed tears over the offensive comments that have been directed at me and my family, and the division and heartache this one project has caused in the community, particularly amongst traditional owners.
“During Climate Week, I made it clear that Queensland is working on a Climate Transitions Options Green Paper that will help shape legislation in the future so that our laws, and the frameworks that regulators use to make decisions, are strengthened.
“The Morrison Government and its new Environment Minister need to review the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.”