The Caley Valley wetlands are adjacent to Adani’s Abbott Point coal terminal and, following Cyclone Debbie, Adani received permission from the Queensland environment authority to release water into the wetlands.
The temporary emission licence was granted on the basis that the waste water contained no more than 30 – 100 milligrams of solids per litre of water.
The authority tested the waste water and found that it met the standard.
Further tests demonstrated that there had been no change to the water quality of the wetlands.
This didn’t stop the Mackay Conservation Group from releasing a satellite image which showed dark patches in the wetland which they said was coal contamination.
They claimed this threatened more than 40,000 shorebirds.
An expert, Norm Duke of James Cook University, looked at the satellite images and pronounced that there was significant contamination of the wetlands that would be toxic to birds and fish.
It transpired that the dark images in the wetlands were the result of cold fresh water from the terminal hitting the warmer sea water.
The impact on the wetlands was a total fabrication.
The same kind of fake news resulted in media stories about coal dust washing up on pristine white beaches.
The same photographs of black streaked beaches were shown and the usual hyperbolic campaign was launched by Get-up to appeal to hand-wringers in Sydney and Melbourne.
Then someone informed the public that the black sand was a natural occurrence consisting of magnetite.
Geoff Cousins is yet to apologise for misleading the public: the very thing he demanded Barnaby Joyce be sacked for.
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