The Queensland Government has quietly approved Adani’s plans to expand the capacity of the Abbot Point coal export terminal on the Great Barrier Reef coast from 50 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 60 mtpa.
Documents made public today by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) show the expansion was approved by the Queensland Coordinator General on 2 October 2018.
Abbot Point is currently running at 50 per cent capacity. Conservationists fear Adani is banking on its Carmichael mine getting off the ground to make an expanded port viable.
“Just this week the international scientific community warned that unless we swiftly stop burning coal we will lose all coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef. Yet the Queensland Government keeps supporting the coal industry,” said ACF Stop Adani Campaigner, Christian Slattery.
“This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows there is no scientific case for digging new coal mines and expanding coal ports. To hold global warming to 1.5 degrees, coal must stay in the ground.
“Our elected representatives must listen to the public and scientists and put a stop to Adani’s coal mine and the other mega-mines proposed for the Galilee Basin.”
AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, Imogen Zethoven AO, said: “Approving an expansion of the Abbot Point coal port in light of the latest climate change findings is devastating news for the reef and an insult to all Australians who care about its future.
“The world’s top climate scientists have confirmed we are on a trajectory to lose the Great Barrier Reef unless we urgently phase out coal and switch to renewables.
“We are at a cross roads. Queensland can continue to open new thermal coal mines or it can maintain the Great Barrier Reef and the 65,000 jobs that rely on it. We cannot have both.”