QLD Government decision to approve Carmichael mine damages climate, biodiversity and water

Press release - 7 May, 2014

Sydney, 8 May 2014: The Queensland government’s approval of the Carmichael coal and rail development, set to be one of the largest single coal mines in the world, is a bankrupt decision which will cripple water resources, destroy threatened species, lock in dangerous climate change and damage the Great Barrier Reef, said Greenpeace today.

“The Federal Environment Minister is next in line to grant necessary approvals. Minister Hunt is now in the goalie’s position: he can either stop this wrecking ball or fail in his responsibilities to protect the environment by letting the development proceed,” said Mr Ben Pearson Head of Program Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
“The approval is a kick in the teeth for the environment and furthers Australia’s contribution to climate change.
“With a single stroke of a pen, Greg Hunt could render his Direct Action policy an expensive irrelevance.
“The mine, in the remote Galilee Basin, requires port development in the Great Barrier Reef and will result in millions of cubic metres of dredging and dumping in the World Heritage Area.
“On purely economic terms this approval does not add up if you consider falling coal prices and a project which financial analysts have critiqued as ‘uneconomic’.
“The Newman Government has again shown itself to be joined at the hip with the coal industry, with a decision which shows the environmental assessment process is broken.
“It is clear that the Queensland Coordinator General has ignored the mine’s climate change impacts.
“The mine itself will clear 20,000 hectares of bushland, including areas which are home to threatened species like the Black-Throated Finch (Southern). Scientists estimate the mine’s water use will cause water tables drop significantly outside the
mine boundaries, reducing underground water supplies to surrounding farms and rivers.
“Carmichael mine will extract billions of litres of water every year from local rivers and aquifers – water that is precious to the arid area.
“The proponent, struggling Indian coal conglomerate Adani, has a disturbing record of breaking environmental laws in its home country, illegal activity and destruction of natural places.
“In Australia it has been reported that Adani breached environmental approval guidelines under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act when building a stormwater return dam at Abbot Point.
“This mine is set to operate for 60 years. Sadly, the damage done to water resources, biodiversity and the Great Barrier Reef will far outlast the mine itself,” Mr Pearson said.
Video footage and photographs of the Carmichael mine site and Abbot Point terminal are available.
For images or more information, contact:
Elsa Evers Greenpeace Media Advisor
Tel: 0438 204 041