By News Desk
Sydney, 15 January, 2015: The Central Queensland community organisation, the Mackay Conservation Group (MCG), has launched court proceedings challenging Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the Indian owned mining company Adani Enterprises over the approval of the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.
In a statement posted on the Adani Australia’s website, the company says, “This legal challenge initiated by the Mackay Conservation Group, and funded by Getup, is an act designed to frustrate progress on an approved project, and reflects dissatisfaction with the Minister’s decision, rather than a genuine concern in regards to the assessment process.”
It also says, “It makes crystal clear that this is not an action dealing with the merits of a process that saw the strictest environmental conditions imposed in Australian history- rather, it is a highly politicised action by professional activists determined to put to an end the coal industry in Queensland and the jobs it delivers to our state.”
MCG has called upon the court to scrap the July 2014 approval to the mine on the grounds the Minister failed under his duty laid down by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act to take down stream greenhouse gas emissions from the mine into account.
“By approving Adani’s Carmichael proposal, the Australian Government is in major breach of its own environmental regulations,” said Ellen Roberts, Co-ordinator at the MCG.
“It is unacceptable at this time that any responsible government should wilfully ignore the climate implications of what could be one of the most polluting mines in the world.”
If it proceeds, at full capacity, the Carmichael mine would export 60 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) of thermal coal from the Galilee Basin to India, via the port of Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef coast.
When burnt, coal from the Carmichael mine will produce 128.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year at peak production, or four times the total carbon emissions of New Zealand.
“Queenslanders are being held hostage to the government’s desire to burnish its own image of ‘getting things done. Sabotaging farmland, water supplies and the Great Barrier Reef for the exaggerated short-term benefits of this mine – most of which would flow offshore – defies good policy and common sense,” said Roberts.
“In the face of climate change and the devastating effects of this mine on farmland, water supplies and the Great Barrier Reef, we simply must do everything we can to hold our government to account.”
- SAT News Service