Adani’s appeal to the Prime Minister reminds us of the importance of our environmental laws
The Indian media reported yesterday that Gautam Adani, owner of international resource company Adani Group, has stated that he had a one-hour meeting with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in November at which he requested that legislation be passed to prevent environmental groups and the community from accessing the courts to review Government decisions.
The previous Abbott Government proposed the repeal of section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to remove access to the courts for communities and non-government organisations, a move which was decried by impacted communities, NGOs and the legal fraternity alike. A Government-dominated committee recently recommended that the legislation be passed despite a hugely negative response from the Australian community.
Humane Society International (HSI) Campaign Director, Michael Kennedy said, “The pressure being placed on the Australian Government by international business interests indicates how important our environmental laws are to robust environmental decision-making, and for the protection of our unique environment, for which companies like Adani appear to have little regard.”
“We are concerned by reports that international mining magnate Gautam Adani has been meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss gutting our environmental laws. The health of our environment is only as strong as the laws that protect it, and we must resist the on-going push from big industry to trash laws which are vital to our children’s wellbeing, and to the implementation of ecological sustainable development.”
“The previous Government placed very little importance on environmental laws, not only in trying to restrict the community’s access to them, but also through the ‘One Stop Shop’ proposals which would destroy the EPBC Act, devolving all Commonwealth environment powers to development-hungry state and territory governments. We are hoping Prime Minister Turnbull will take a different approach,” Mr. Kennedy concluded.