Community groups have slammed the Palaszczuk and Albanese governments’ latest coal project approvals, saying they contradict increasingly desperate pleas for an end to new and expanding fossil fuel projects.
The Gregory Crinum open cut project, granted federal approval this week, would mine 40 million tonnes of coal through to 2043 and produce approximately 97 million tonnes of carbon pollution. However, the approval has effect until 2073.
Separately, the Queensland Palaszczuk Government yesterday quietly approved the Caval Ridge Horse Pit extension, which would mine about 15 million tonnes of coal each year until 2055. The project has approval to leave a massive final pit void of 545 hectares once mining has finished, meaning the majority of disturbed land will not be rehabilitated at all. This project is also part of the Living Wonders legal challenge.
It would be responsible for a total of 440 million tonnes of CO2 over the life of the mine.
Environmental Advocacy in Central Queensland director Doctor Coral Rowston said, “Humanity must transition away from fossil fuels. Central Queensland doesn’t need more coal mines, particularly those that operate for decades.
“Approving new coal projects does not help threatened species which are facing threats on multiple fronts, including climate.
Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Ellen Roberts renewed the organisation’s call for a climate trigger so federal assessors could better consider a project’s contribution to global warming.
“Regional communities, which bear the brunt of extreme weather, are facing a dangerous, hot and dry summer made worse due to anthropogenic climate change," she said.
“Decisions to approve new coal projects, like that made this week by the Palaszczuk and Albanese governments, help drive extreme weather conditions and hurt communities.
“There is an international scientific consensus, and a growing push from business and the financial sector, that Australia cannot approve new coal mines.
“It’s sadly ironic that the Albanese Government is hoping to host the COP with Pacific nations, while at the same time continuing to approve new climate-destroying coal projects.”