When Minister Burke described the environmental assessment of Gina Rinehart’s controversial Alpha Coal Project as “shambolic”, he wasn’t joking. But now he has given his own rubber stamp to the project, revealing the profound failure of the regulatory system in Australia.
Last November, twelve Greenpeace activists were arrested after taking action at the site of the proposed HRL power station at Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The action was part of a long-running campaign to have a $100 million grant to the proposed HRL brown coal power station cancelled.
Here’s a question for you: how much of a masterpiece can you remove, before it loses its value and beauty for which it is recognised? That’s the question the Australian government is wrestling with as the coal industry makes greater and greater inroads into the masterpiece that is the Great Barrier Reef.
The Australian continent might be about 4,000 km wide from east to west, but even the far west coast cannot escape the winds of Cyclone Rusty and the alarming impacts of climate change caused by coal mining, such as the planned Galilee Basin project, in the nation's east.
Amid all the news about coal and pollution problems in China you might have missed this one: According to new statistics from the China Electricity Council, China’s wind power production actually increased more than coal power production for the first time ever in 2012.