Adani has again shown they can’t be trusted to tell the truth, making baseless accusations against peaceful protesters to cover up the assault perpetrated by their own staff.

Yesterday a group of environmental activists blocked the road to Adani’s Carmichael Rail project, disrupting work on this destructive project. One person locked himself to a cattle grid. When Adani work vehicles arrived, several activists stood in front of them to inform the staff someone was locked to the grid and stop the vehicles driving into him. This is when an Adani staff member got out of his car and assaulted a photographer. Video footage clearly shows this unprovoked attack.

Adani yesterday released a statement saying “This morning anti-coal activists have thrown rocks and kicked the doors of cars and utes belonging to people working on our Carmichael Project

They offered no evidence to support this accusation, and indeed when police arrived at the site nobody was charged with any offence relating to damage though Adani staff repeated the claim to them. Yet Adani’s lie was reported uncritically by several media outlets.

Following this, Frontline Action on Coal released a statement and footage of the assault. Confronted with this evidence, Adani still refused to accept responsibility for their staff’s actions, and in fact were changing their story.

Media outlet inQueensland this morning reported Adani saying “The workers reported the activists had blocked the road so they could not pass. Activists then approached the vehicle, grabbed the bull bar, shook the vehicle and laid on the bonnet. The activists took many photos through the windows and attempted to frighten, intimidate and harass the workers.” All references to the fictional rock-throwing incident had now been abandoned, though that didn’t stop inQueensland referring to rocks in the opening paragraph of their story.

Frontline Action on Coal spokesperson Andy Paine said “this is yet another example of Adani showing they can not be trusted to tell the truth. Within 24 hours they have changed their story, but still failed to offer any evidence to back up these false claims. We have footage of the interactions between Adani staff and activists which we are happy to share. It shows no rocks thrown and no cars shaken. If Adani are going to make spurious allegations, then they should offer some evidence to back them up.

“Adani have a proven track record of lying. They were forced to admit in court they had wildly exaggerated job numbers. They were found guilty of failing to disclose illegal land clearing. Most recently a Queensland court found Adani had engaged in ‘unconscionable conduct’ ripping off customers of its coal port and ordered Adani to pay $100 million in damages. Now they are fabricating stories in an attempt to discredit peaceful protesters and cover up assaults by their own staff. It is shameful that our government would consider threatening our future by entrusting our precious climate and water to this immoral company, and embarrassing that media outlets will uncritically report every false claim they make.”