Alpha mega-mine highlights need for strong federal laws

 The first Galilee Basin coal mega-mine is likely to be approved by the Queensland Government following today’s recommended conditional approval by the Coordinator-General, which is devastating news for the climate and the Great Barrier Reef, said the Greens.

“Gina Rinehart’s 30 megatonne Alpha mine is the start of the coal rush from the Galilee Basin that will see Australia’s coal exports double by 2020, with devastating effects for the global climate and for our precious Great Barrier Reef,” said Greens spokesperson on mining, Senator Larissa Waters.

“This would be Australia’s largest coal mine and would add to the massive dredging, dumping and shipping which is turning the Great Barrier Reef into a coal superhighway, as well as see thousands of hectares of high value habitat lost.

“Premier Newman is highly likely to accept the Coordinator General’s recommendation and approve this mine, adding another destructive environmental decision to his already long list, and lining the pockets of Australia’s richest woman and the Indian conglomerate that owns 79% of the company.

“The onus will be on the Federal Government to step in and prevent this disastrous project from going ahead, but under environmental law reforms proposed by the Prime Minister and backed by Tony Abbott, Minister Burke wouldn’t even have a say on this mega-mine.

“Campbell Newman’s anti-environment stance is precisely why the Government should reverse its appalling plan to palm off environment responsibilities to the States,” said Senator Waters.

Media Contact: Adam Stone 0419 626 725