Australian travels to Gujarat, finds Adani ‘dangerously powerful’

Bruce Currie from Queensland reportedly was on a fact-finding mission to understand the Adani business model as he was determined to not let the proposed coal mine back home pollute the groundwater

Photo by Ramesh Dave/Mint via Getty Images
Photo by Ramesh Dave/Mint via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

Bruce Currie, a grazier from Queensland, has been fighting to protect ground water in Queensland, and because Adani had been granted unlimited access to groundwater by the Queensland government, Currie wanted first-hand information on what kind of company Adani was. He wanted to know first-hand whether reports of Adani’s poor treatment of local communities and the environment in India stacked up, according to North Queensland Register.

When I was in India it became very clear to me how dangerously powerful Adani is there and how the company uses its influence to its own advantage
Bruce Currie, a grazier from Queensland

“When I was in India it became very clear to me how dangerously powerful Adani is there and how the company uses its influence to its own advantage. We see it in Australia too. The Adani Group has Queensland Labor, our local mayors and the Feds bending over backwards to get their mine over the line,” said Currie, who had travelled to Gautam Adani’s home-state Gujarat on a fact-finding mission.

According to North Queensland Register, Currie has been fighting for a long time to protect groundwater, which is vital for his grazing business. This has taken him to many lawyers’ offices, to court, to Parliament and now, India, because Adani Group’s $22-billion Carmichael coal mine is likely to come up in Queensland.

“I was lucky to have my son look after my beef farm in Central Queensland so I could travel to Gujarat. After legal battles with GVK Hancock to try to protect my groundwater, my wife Annette and I were determined to not let it all go under the bus with Adani’s proposed mega-coal mine,” he said. GVK Hancock is the joint venture project of another leading Indian company, GVK that has also bought a mine in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

“This trip was eye-opening… What I saw sent a shiver up my spine. I visited small villages in Mundra and Hazira and met with Indian farmers and fishermen. We found much in common. They told me familiar stories of a big company that gets its foot in the door by promising local jobs and a boost to the local economy, but at the end of the day doesn’t really give a damn about their community,” he said the North Queensland Register report.

Currie stated that the local residents had mentioned that Adani has allegedly polluted groundwater, seized land illegally and bulldozed mangrove forests. “The fishermen we met in Hazira say their fishing catch has been reduced by a whopping 90% since Adani built their port. They complain their catch now smells and even tastes bad,” Currie added.

In Mundra, Currie met a date farmer who had lost his entire 10-acre crop. Due to coal dust from the nearby Adani power plant. “Valji Gadhvi lost his entire 10 acres of crop, in addition to his cotton and castor oil crops, which were also being damaged,” said Currie.

“What worried me most of all were the reports by farmers and pastoralists of their groundwater being polluted and watercourses blocked. I have already taken GVK Hancock to court twice to stop the risk of their mines ruining the water I need for my stock. What I saw made me even more nervous about the risks to Queensland’s water security if Adani gets a foothold here,” Currie said with apparent despair.

Currie stated that most of the local population have had their livelihoods destroyed and they have been forced to use the little resources left to fight the mining corporation.

“Their biggest backer is Matt Canavan of course, who is desperate to loan Adani (who’s a billionaire himself) $1 billion of taxpayers’ money to allow the project to go ahead,” Currie noted.

“We cannot afford for our water aquifers to be destroyed by mining or to wreck agricultural industries for temporary employment in an unsustainable coal burning industry. We can’t afford to lose the Great Barrier Reef, and the tourist industry it supports,” said Currie, with a resolve to keep fighting.

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Published: 21 Apr 2017, 9:17 PM