It's a victory for the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, with a 20-year moratorium on all new shale oil projects in the region. Led by the Save Our Foreshore group, the success shows just how powerful local, grassroots campaigns can be.
Aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the Whitsunday Islands. The proposed shale oil mine would have posed a range of threats to the region.
The ban has been welcomed by just about everyone but the
QueenlandResource Council, whose proposal was set to mine millions
of tonnes ofshale rock each year on a site just 10 km from the
gateway to the GreatBarrier Reef. The shale oil mine threatened to
drain precious watersupplies, and to risk toxic leaching and air
pollution from waste rock.Shale oil production is extremely
greenhouse gas intensive - emissionsfrom this project, combined
with the company's other plannedoperations, would have raised
Australia's current total emissions by30 percent within 20
This is a great win but it is madness that such a project could
haveeven been considered. We are facing catastrophic climate change
- wemust urgently cut emissions, not increase them. We don't need
toendanger the Great Barrier Reef or anywhere else by mining
There are better energy sources that are ready to go right now.
If Queensland Premier Anna Bligh canblock this proposal for climate
reasons, we look forward to herblocking other major fossil fuel
projects in the state, includingexport coal expansions, for the
Greenpeace joined Save Our Foreshore in
their fight against the shale oil mine last month when the Esperanzasailed
into Airlie Beach flanked by a flotilla of 90 local vessels
aspart of its six-week
energy [r]evolution tour.
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