Coal miners face growing anger over damage to Great Barrier Reef

Press release - 12 November, 2012
12 November, 2012: Coal industry executives were faced with over 100 protesters outside the Galilee Basin Coal Conference at the Brisbane Hilton this morning, calling for a halt to coal development that threatens the Great Barrier Reef.

The protest is in response to the coal industry’s plans to open up nine new mega mines in the Galilee Basin, west of Emerald, which will lead to the construction of massive new coal terminals in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Greenpeace campaigner Louise Matthiesson said, “this conference is a conspiracy of climate change culprits, and their plans for Queensland’s Galilee Basin could irreversibly damage the Great Barrier Reef.”

“The coal industry is turning the Reef into an industrial superhighway. And instead of protecting one of the most spectacular and valuable places on the planet, the Queensland Government has assumed the role of industry cheerleader.

 “The coal port developments will involve millions of tonnes of dredging, the loss of seagrass beds vital for turtles and dugongs, and the clearing of coastal wetlands. On top of this, thousands more coal ships crossing the reef means a greater risk of accidents.”

“If the huge new mines proposed for the Galilee Basin go ahead, they will also create more climate pollution than most nations of the world, leading to more frequent coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef.

Earlier this year, the Federal Environment Minister approved the Alpha Coal mine in the Galilee Basin plus a rail line that will connect it to the new “T3” coal terminal at Abbot Point near Mackay.

This was despite a request from the World Heritage Committee not to approve development that will impact on the Outstanding Universal Values of Great Barrier Reef.  

Contact:
Louise Matthiesson: 0406 041 428
Greenpeace Queensland Community Campaigner

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