Stop Adani protesters in Mackay.
Stop Adani protesters in Mackay. Tony Martin

Finch 'death warrant': Activists claim birds will starve

CONSERVATIONISTS have accused the Queensland Government of giving in to 'corporate bullying' in the wake of its decision to approve Adani's management plan for the endangered black-throated finch.

The Australian Conservation Foundation labelled the move as 'scientifically dubious' and claimed it could lead to the finch's extinction, while Mackay Conservation Group went as far as saying the Queensland Government had 'signed the death warrant' for the bird.

MCG community organiser Michael Kane claimed the decision was politically motivated and the approval process had been rushed, manifestly inadequate and compromised.

"With the decision today, Australians now have a front row seat to the real time extinction of the endangered black-throated finch due to political expediency and a lack of leadership," he said.

"The truth is, once Adani bulldozes the tiny finch's last viable habitat, the birds will literally starve to death in great numbers. This is an extinction that we can stop today. There is still time for the Premier to walk back this process.

"Nothing in the finch management plan presented today by Adani has changed or improved since it's last rejection on the second of May. This is the same plan that government scientists rubbished before the Federal election and does nothing to avert the extinction of the black-throated finch."

ACF campaigner Christian Slattery mirrored Mr Kane's position, saying Adani's proposed Galilee Basin coal mine would 'devastate' critical habitat for the finch.

"The black-throated finch has already lost 88 per cent of its historical range and recent analysis shows six of the coal mines planned for the Galilee Basin would completely clear nearly 35,000 hectares of the finch's best remaining habitat," Mr Slattery said.

"The area where Adani wants to dig the Carmichael mine is home to the largest known population of black-throated finches and some of the best remaining habitat.

"The black-throated finch is already endangered and this decision by the Queensland Government - which comes after months of pressure and coercion by Adani and the mining lobby - may have sealed its fate

"Politicians should stand up to corporate bullying, not roll over and roll out the red carpet.

"Adani still has several hurdles to clear before it could dig any Galilee Basin coal, including an unapproved groundwater management plan and some ongoing court cases."

Mr Kane said Mackay Conservation Group was urging the public to contact the Premier's office today to express outrage that the Premier had given the green light for Adani.

The Bob Brown Foundation claimed the move was the 'second deliberated extinction in Australian history'.

"The first was the extirpation of the Tasmanian tiger after the 1888 state legislation put a one pound ($2) bounty on its head. More than 2000 were shot. The last tiger died in a Hobart zoo on 7 September 1936," the foundation claimed.

"There are fewer black-throated finches in 2019 than there were tigers in 1888. The obliteration of the bird's stronghold in the Galilee Basin is the same as shooting them."