In response to the news that Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has blocked the Clive Palmer-owned Central Queensland Coal Project because of the environmental risks it posed to the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Jaclyn McCosker said:
“This is a great decision from Tanya Plibersek and the first time a federal Environment Minister has rejected a coal mine under Australia’s environment law.
“This is a win for the community that has campaigned to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the climate and local industries that depend on a healthy reef.
“In the third decade of the 21st century we simply cannot be approving new coal mines.
“The International Energy Agency has made it clear there can be no new coal and gas projects if the world is to stay within safe limits of global heating.
“Mr Palmer’s mine would have been a climate and nature disaster, being 10 kilometres from the Great Barrier Reef marine park.
“Pollution from the mine would have damaged local habitats, including nesting beaches for turtles and seagrass meadows needed by dugongs.
“It would have extracted up to 18 million tonnes of coal per year for burning here and overseas, fuelling floods, droughts and the marine heatwaves that bleach coral reefs.
“Queensland’s future is as a renewable energy powerhouse, not as a coal quarry.
“We urge Minister Plibersek to keep listening to scientific experts and the community and reject the dozens of other coal proposals waiting for final approval.”