Approval of Galilee mega mine leaves Reef strategy in tatters

Press release - 2 November, 2013

Sydney 3rd November 2013: Last Friday evening, the same day Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, launched the government’s draft Strategic Assessment of the Great Barrier Reef, the same Minister quietly approved a massive new coal mine that relies on shipping its product through the reef via the controversial Abbot Point port development.

“The mine would be larger than any existing coal mine in Australia and would use over 9 billion litres of water every year, raising major concerns about its impact on groundwater supplies vital for farms in the region,” said  Erland Howden, Climate & Energy campaigner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
“It would also clear over 8,000 hectares of bush land, permanently deplete groundwater reserves, and result in more greenhouse gas emissions than many small countries,” continued Howden. “The very day the Minister was trying to assure Queenslanders that he understood the threat posed by industrialisation to the Reef, he was signing off on a mine that will ship coal through the Reef” said Howden.
“The Strategic Assessment is clearly a report at war with itself,” continued Howden. “The science contained in it tells us the Reef has never been more fragile than it is today, but the program proposed to address this effectively suggests that tweaking business as usual should save it. They can’t both be right."
“The approval of Kevin’s Corner mine makes it very clear the Minister has no intention of doing anything other than “business as usual” when it comes to saving our Reef.”
“Approving this mine for the controversial Indian company GVK tells Queenslanders everything they need to know about how seriously the Federal government takes the impending destruction of the Reef. This is a shameful day for the newly elected Abbott government” concluded Howden.
For further information:
Erland Howden mobile
0408 255 583
Julie Macken mobile 0400 925 217