Work has been disrupted for the third day in a row on Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine, with a group of 20 people this morning blocking access from the Adani work camp.

The group cited Adani’s immense water usage at a time when much of the country is in extreme drought. In Western NSW the drought has been declared critical, with fears regional centres like Dubbo could run out of water by the end of the year.

Horticulturalist Hamish Fairbrother, from Townsville, noted Adani is beginning construction on a massive dam which will suck water from surrounding farms, towns, and native ecosystems.

“At a time when the country is experiencing history-changing weather conditions – when whole towns are running out of water, rivers are drying up and extreme fire threats being described as the new normal, the government is allowing Adani to use billions of litres of water in order to mine and wash coal. This is irresponsible and reprehensible.”

In June, the Federal Department of the Environment conceded in court that it did not take into consideration public submissions to Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme. There were over 2000 public submissions to the plan, which gives Adani permission to use 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the Suttor River. It is now in the process of reviewing that decision.

Mr Fairbrother said “the government has already admitted it ignored the submissions of the public when it came to Adani’s immense water usage. The fact they are still supportive of this project in the face of an extreme drought and the threat of worse from climate breakdown is a betrayal of Australian people and the water that sustains us.

“Careful water management is a necessity for life on this dry continent. If our government will not protect this precious resource by rejecting the Carmichael mine, everyday people need to personally take strong action to stop it from being built.”