Resources Minister Matt Canavan will unveil a 12-month review into streamlining regulation in the resources sector today at a major mining conference in the NSW Hunter Valley, which threatens to strip back hard-fought environmental legal protections.The move has been slammed by environmental organisations, with Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter labelling it as regulatory malpractice.

“Australia’s mining regulatory system is broken and not fit for purpose. Now the Federal Government is seeking to strip back environmental protections even further,” he said.

“The mining and burning of coal is the number one driver of climate change globally. Resources Minister Matt Canavan has no mandate to fast-track the climate crisis.”

“Australia’s regulatory frameworks shamefully favour mining companies over communities, often leaving no option but to challenge the projects in court.”

“Communities such as Gloucester, Bulga, and Camberwell have had to resort to legal challenges because the planning system puts the interests of large mining companies above the amenity and in some cases viability of those communities. Now the government wants to remove what little avenues exist to protect communities’ rights.”

The announcement comes as 65% of Queensland is currently in drought, with Adani holding government approvals to extract billions of litres of groundwater every year to operate the mine.

“The Adani corporation has already bullied their way through many levels of state and federal approvals, flying in the face of scientists who have repeatedly said that this mine cannot go ahead.”

“This review into stripping back hard-fought environmental protection comes as our country is parched by some of the worst drought ever recorded, which is being driven by climate change.”

“Major coal mining projects like Adani suck up precious groundwater resources in a country baked dry by climate change. This is sheer insanity, as coal is the number one driver of climate change.”

“We are in the thick of the climate emergency, and this is a time that the Federal Government should be strengthening environmental protections, rather than tearing them down.”

For further information or comment please contact Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Manager Nelli Stevenson on 0428 113 346 or email [email protected]