Controversial mega-mine delayed

Press release - 17 June, 2014
Tuesday 17 June, 2014: Greenpeace today welcomed Greg Hunt's decision to delay the approval of the controversial Carmichael mega-mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin, but is calling on the Environment Minister to reject the proposal entirely.

"Adani has a long record of environmental destruction and are not a company you would let look after your pot plants, let alone safeguard the future of the Great Barrier Reef," said Greenpeace Head of Programme Ben Pearson. "This mine would result in the development of a vast new coal terminal at Abbot Point in the World Heritage Area which would have required dredging and dumping, and thousands of extra coal ships carving through the Reef every year. Approving it now would have been tantamount to an act of provocation, with UNESCO currently mulling the status of Australia's greatest natural icon."

The Carmichael coal mine proposed for Queensland’s Galilee Basin would be the biggest ever seen in Australia. It would include six open cut pits and five underground mines. Measuring 28,000 hectares - five times the area of Sydney Harbour - the mine would clear bushland home to threatened species like the Black-Throated Finch (Southern).

Carmichael will also extract billions of litres of water every year from local rivers and aquifers – water that is precious to the arid area - and burning the coal would produce four times the fossil fuel emissions of New Zealand.

“The proponent, Indian coal conglomerate Adani, has a disturbing record of breaking environmental laws in its home country, illegal activity and destruction of natural places," said Pearson.

“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."

“We only hope that Mr Hunt isn't just trying to pull the wool over the eyes of UNESCO, with a view to approving the mine when the gaze of the world is elsewhere,” Mr Pearson said. "Australia deserves better than this."

See Greenpeace briefing: 'Adani's Record of Environmental Destruction'(PDF 100 kb)

Video footage and photographs of the Carmichael mine site and Abbot Point terminal are available on request.

For more info contact Greenpeace Program Director Ben Pearson on 0424 575 111 or Communications Manager James Lorenz on 0400 376 021