12 September 2013: In an extraordinary display of over-reach the Queensland Premier has asked Prime Minister-elect, Tony Abbott, to give the coal industry special treatment and fast-track the approvals needed for massive new coal mining projects in the Galilee basin.
Last Monday, Mr. Abbott called Premier Newman to find out what the "blockers" were for the Queensland government. "I said without any hesitation the need to see the massive Galilee Basin coal projects approved as soon as possible," Mr. Newman told ABC radio.
Newman also wants the new federal government to push through the approval of what could become the world’s largest coal port at Abbot Point to export coal from the Galilee Basin mines.
“If Newman gets his way and forces likely new Environment Minister Greg Hunt to do his bidding, we’ll see three million cubic metres of dredge spoil dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Louise Matthiesson.
There are plans for up to nine mega-mines in the Galilee that between them would:
- create more greenhouse gas emissions than all fossil fuels burned in Canada or the United Kingdom;
- tear up tens of thousands of hectares of grazing land and bushland, including nature refuges and koala habitat;
- drain thousands of mega-litres of water from precious underground aquifers, threatening the water supplies of local communities and farms.
“In Australia we expect everyone to go through the same transparent process whether you’re building a tourist resort or a coal port, no matter if you’re Clive Palmer or Joe Blogs,” said Matthiesson. “Unfortunately Mr Newman seems hell bent on not only removing blockages but undermining fair process entirely.”
“Simply put, no government from left or right should be pressured into threatening the Great Barrier Reef for the sake of a quick buck,” said Matthiesson.
For further comment:
Louise Matthiesson: 0406 041 428
Julie Macken: 0400 925 217