The Queensland government has made the right decision for the Great Barrier Reef, the climate and local communities by deeming a proposed Clive Palmer-owned coal mine just 10km from the World Heritage area as ‘not suitable’, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said.
Their assessment, released today, shows the Department of Environment and Science has listened to advice from expert scientists and the wishes of the community to reject the mine and protect our Reef from dangerous climate change and pollution.
The Department cited “a number of significant risks, due to its location, particularly its proximity to important environmental values, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area” in its assessment that the project should not receive environmental approval.
The Central Queensland Coal project, located between Rockhampton and Mackay, will now go to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley for consideration. She will have 30 business days to approve or reject the project.
“We are relieved the Queensland Department of Environment and Science has listened to the warnings from expert scientists that building a huge open cut coal mine so close to our Reef would cause serious and irreversible damage to a variety of important habitats, including important turtle and dugong strongholds,” said AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaigner David Cazzulino.
“These Federal government appointed experts warned that they “cannot envisage any feasible mitigation measures, including offsets, that could safeguard these irreplaceable and internationally significant ecological assets”.
“We urge Minister Ley to listen to her Government’s own expert scientists, and to the community, and reject this disastrous mine for the sake of our beautiful Reef.”
The decision comes amid strong community opposition to the mine. Hundreds attended protests in Mackay, Yeppoon and Brisbane recently, and more than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for the mine to be rejected.
AMCS and other organisations, including Lock The Gate, Capricornia Conservation Council and Mackay Conservation Group will continue to fight for the project to be rejected.
Images and videos from the rallies in Brisbane, Mackay and Yeppoon and footage of the area where the mine is proposed to be built are available here.