Sydney 5th of June 2012: Greenpeace welcomes Environment Minister, Tony Burke’s decision to “stop the clock” on the GVK/Gina Rinehart Alpha mine project approval process and slammed political interference in the Queensland State approval process.
“Minister Burke had no choice but to intervene in the shambolic environmental approval process for the Alpha Coal Project,” said John Hepburn, Greenpeace campaigner.
Mr Burke described the Queensland government’s approach to the approval process as “ridiculous” and said he could not trust the Queensland government with either the Great Barrier Reef or Queensland jobs.
“Queenslanders have been really let down by both GVK and the State government,” said John Hepburn, Greenpeace campaigner. “The initial assessment by GVK and Gina Rinehart was totally inadequate and the Queensland government wanted to rubber stamp the project with little concern for either the communities that are being affected by their decisions or the environment that will be devastated by them.”
“While we welcome Minister Burke’s leadership on the issue, it does not go far enough,” said Hepburn. “He has shown he has the legislative power to stop the clock on the approval process of the Alpha mine so we are again asking him to stop the clock on any major development happening on the Reef including GVK’s T3 port proposal at Abbot Point until the overall Strategic Assessment is concluded and a management plan put in place.”
“Like Minister Burke, no Queenslanders, or financial investors can trust the Queensland government with the stewardship of the Reef or the management of Queensland jobs – especially those in the tourism and manufacturing sectors,” said Hepburn.
“We are calling on Tony Burke to go beyond his decision on the Alpha Coal Project today put in place an effective moratorium on approval of major industrial developments on the Reef until the Strategic Assessment is concluded and a management plan put in place\.”
For further comment contact
Greenpeace Campaigner, John Hepburn: 0407231172
Greenpeace Media Officer, Julie Macken: 0400 925 217