Australia

Environment minister 'devastated' by Adani, days after government greenlit mine

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Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch has been captured on camera saying she is "devastated" the Adani coal mine is dividing the state.

Stop Adani protesters have filmed Queensland's Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch saying she's "devastated" by the coal mine - just days after her government gave the mining giant the go ahead. 

The video, posted on the Stop Adani Cairns Facebook page, shows a protester approaching the minister at an Indigenous festival near Cairns on the weekend. 

Queensland Environment Minister Leanne Enoch poses with a Stop Adani activist at an Indigenous festival near Cairns.
Queensland Environment Minister Leanne Enoch poses with a Stop Adani activist at an Indigenous festival near Cairns.
Stop Adani Cairns

The protester asked Ms Enoch how she felt about selling Indigenous water rights, two days after Adani was given the green-light to begin construction on the mine in the Galilee Basin, central Queensland.

Ms Enoch, who is the first Indigenous woman elected to the Queensland Parliament, told the woman: "I'm devastated". 

"Why did you have to do it?," the woman then asked the Minister, to which Ms Enoch replied, "because I had to obey the law".

The minister then said she would "absolutely" fight for the Indigenous communities impacted.

The interaction comes as industries bodies backed the approval. 

Anti-Adani protests outside Parliament House in Canberra earlier this month.
Anti-Adani protests outside Parliament House in Canberra earlier this month.
AAP

“The Adani project will inject billions of dollars into the Queensland economy, provide thousands of jobs and countless opportunities for small and medium businesses along the supply chain,” Australia Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) chief executive Steve Knott said.

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Adani gets green-light to start construction on controversial coal mine
Adani gets green-light to start construction on controversial coal mine

Ms Enoch later said in a statement, the protester "asked me how I felt about the way traditional owners have been affected by the Adani mine, to which I responded, ‘devastated’", as reported by The Guardian. 

“I understand this is an issue that people care a great deal about and I am devastated at how this project has been used as a weapon to divide our state.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk relayed Ms Enoch's comment on Monday, saying: "Minister Enoch was devastated in terms of the division that was causing in Indigenous communities". 

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