The Lock the Gate Alliance says the next 24 hours will see a test of Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s commitment to protecting water resources from coal mining, as a decision falls due on the Kevin’s Corner mine proposed for the Galilee Basin.The mine had the new “water trigger” applied a fortnight ago under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act, but no further information has been since been released about the assessment of the mine’s impact on water resources.
A federal decision is due on Hancock Coal’s Kevin’s Corner mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin tomorrow, and, if it is approved, it would be the first mine in the country given the green light under the EPBC water trigger, which passed into law in the last parliament.
Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance said, “This mine is one of five mega mines in the Galilee Basin that would have irreversible impacts on groundwater in the region. It comprises three longwall mines and two open cut pits. The final voids it leaves behind will continue drawing water from surrounding aquifers for 100 years.
“Even the Queensland Coordinator-General acknowledged that this project will, in fact, be “mining” groundwater from the surrounding area. This scale of impact can’t be compensated for.
“Today, an open letter from thirteen water experts has been sent to Minister Hunt asking for a cumulative impact assessment of the impact of this and other Galilee Basin mines on groundwater to be undertaken before any further approvals are given.
“We’re calling on the Minister to reject the Kevin’s Corner project, and protect water resources from coal mining.”