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Baralaba South Coal Mine

The Baralaba South project is a proposed new, open-cut coal mine located on prime agricultural land in central Queensland, just 500m from the Dawson River on a floodplain where the river spreads to 11km wide during floods.

Community Concerns


Local farmers and other community members have been fighting this proposal for more than a decade. If the mine is allowed to proceed, Baralaba residents are concerned it would:

-permanently destroy thousands of acres of prime agricultural land.

-lead to severe flooding of thousands of acres of surrounding highly productive crop-farming areas and homes due to giant flood levee banks diverting floodwaters of the Dawson River.

-potentially lead to permanent contamination of the drinking water supplies for the towns of Baralaba and the Woorabinda Aboriginal community.

-deplete and pollute water relied on for irrigation and stockwater by dozens of large cropping and livestock farms.

-cause a wide range of other direct impacts including air pollution, excessive noise, and an increased risk of fatalities on local roads.

Mining Free Survey

In 2020 a comprehensive survey undertaken by the local Save the Dawson community group revealed 97.2% of respondents oppose the mine, with 99.6% in favour of reforms to better protect strategic cropping land in Queensland. 

Jess Bidgood, whose family runs an organic beef farm next to the proposed mine site, said the survey results sent an unequivocal message: “The community has spoken and they’re opposed to this project. They’re opposed to mining on strategic cropping land and they’re opposed to Baralaba South.”

Save the Dawson group chairman and Baralaba grazier Brett Coombe said, “You can’t put a coal mine on a floodplain, it just shouldn’t happen. 

“Especially on prime agricultural land - we’re not going to get any more of this - the prime agricultural land that we’ve got in the world today is all we’re ever going to have. We’ve got to look after it because we want it to be here for the next thousand years for our kids and our great grandkids and that’s not going to happen if we keep mining on floodplains.  

Recent timeline

  • June, 2020: Liberty Mutual came under fire for refusing to insure Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, while progressing with plans for a coal mine south of Baralaba.

  • January, 2021: Liberty Mutual was labelled a hypocrite for signing up to a United Nations backed program that encouraged sustainable and ethical investment while continuing to progress the Baralaba South coal mine.

  • April 2021: Following the complaint to the UN and re-thinking its involvement in the project, Liberty Mutual  chose not to submit its Environmental Impact Statement by the required date, prompting locals to believe the project would not proceed.
  • December 2021: Liberty Mutual sold Baralaba Coal to American Metals and Coal International (AMCI) — along with its current application. The Queensland Government then let them revive the EIS process and the EIS is now due in December 2022.