MEDIA RELEASE 10 October, 2016
The Queensland Conservation Council has this morning expressed dismay that the Queensland state government has signalled it will be actively facilitating Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has invoked special powers in an attempt to progress the controversial Carmichael coal and rail project. The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have now been declared ‘critical infrastructure’. This is the first time since the late 2000s that this has happened.
Queensland’s peak conservation body has described this as an unnecessary and unwarranted ramping up of government support for coal, when the focus of action should be on fast tracking renewable energy.
The group is disappointed with the complete lack of community consultation about the move, despite signs that the resources sector was consulted, and has also questioned the timing of the announcement, which seems to undermine moves by the government to regulate water licence provisions for the Adani project.
“This ramping up of government support for coal is both unnecessary and unwarranted” said Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig.
“When the focus of action should be on fast tracking renewable energy, Minister Lynham is still hooked on coal, and he is failing to lead the state economy into a sustainable, post carbon future.
“The timing of this statement is deeply troubling. The Adani Carmichael project faces huge financial challenges and this looks like an attempt by the government to give a failing project a hand up.
“Making this announcement without any community consultation just two days after public submissions closed on new interim water licence processes for a number of future mine projects is unacceptable. The Declaration means the Minister could move to exempt Adani from proper regulation of underground water access, and close off appeals processes.
“Let’s not forget that the proposed mine would lead to 28,000 hectares of woodlands being cleared, releasing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year locally as well as adding to global climate change.”
For further information or comment contact:
Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Dr Tim Seelig on 0439 201 183