Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has invited the public to comment on 18 dangerous new coal and gas proposals in Australia. Their emissions would harm all the natural wonders we want our children and their children to know and love – koalas, turtles, the reef, the Tarkine, Kakadu.

But the future is not yet written, we can write it together. Here's how you can encourage our Environment Minister to face the facts, and act.

Follow this step-by-step guide to writing a short, persuasive comment on any (or many) of the proposals – and let ACF know so we can track how many comments we send to the Minister. We each have until Thursday 24 November, 5pm to comment. Here is a summary of the steps:

If you follow the instructions in step 3, the comment you write can be legally persuasive and submitted for all 18 proposals!

  1. Open the government portal to make a comment
  2. Tick YES on the first box
  3. Write a short, unique comment
  4. Tick No on the second box
  5. Write ‘N/A’ in the second comment section
  6. Submit your comment and let ACF know

1. Open the government portal to make a comment

When you’re ready to write your comment, head on over to the relevant government portal.

Choose any (or many) proposals to comment on:



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For more information on each proposal, visit the Living Wonders website.

2. Tick YES on the first box

By ticking YES, you agree that there is substantial new information about the climate harm from this project.


3. Write a short, unique comment

This is where you write your unique comment. It can be one or two sentences or up to 500 words.

It’s the most important section, so please take some time to ensure your comment notes these two things.

  1. Note that the Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) and their Environmental Justice Australia legal team have provided material that qualifies as ‘substantial new information’.
  2. Note why the material is ‘substantial new information’

It’s because of ECoCeQ’s legal intervention that the Minister has opened all 18 proposals for public comment. Together we need to help back in their argument.

The material submitted includes the 2021 and 2022 IPCC reports and the 2021 State of the Environment Report – which together make a compelling case that the coal and gas proposals will cause harm.

You may like to:

  • Note that EcoCeQ has submitted thousands of documents detailing the impact of each proposal on nationally significant animals, plants, ecosystems and places (which are “matters of national environmental significance” protected under the EPBC Act.)
  • Include evidence, detailing the climate impacts of the proposal on thousands of animals, plants, ecosystems and places.
  • Highlight the climate impacts the proposal will have on key species like koalas and key places like the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Note that the information about the climate impacts of the project is new because this information was not considered in the first decision for this project.

If you follow the instructions, your comment can then be re-submitted to any of the proposals – which we encourage you to do to help us reach a critical mass of comments!

4. Tick NO on the second box

The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) is not relying on this argument as part of their legal case to have the 18 proposals reconsidered, so you can tick NO.


5. Write ‘N/A’ in the second comment section

Again, ECoCeQ is not relying on this argument as part of their legal case to have the 18 proposals reconsidered, so you can write N/A.



Optional: Add any other comments

In this section, you could share your views on whether the Minister should make a new decision about the coal mine.

You could write a few lines detailing why you are concerned about the impact of this proposal on Australia’s living wonders – such as the Great Barrier Reef, Commonwealth Marine Areas, threatened animals, plants and ecosystems, marine and migratory species and marine environments and World and National Heritage places. You might like to write about the impacts to the koala, the dugong, Kakadu or Shark Bay or other protected species or places that are important to you.

You could write about how the ‘substantial new information’ submitted by EcoCeQ demonstrates the proposal is having, will have or is likely to have a ‘significant impact’ on our living world.

  • What does ‘significant impact’ mean? Here, it means that the materials show that the proposal had or will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on Matters of National Environmental Significance. An impact does not need to be direct, an impact which occurs later in time or across the country is still an impact.
  • Importantly, ECoCeQ argues the impacts are ‘significant’. According to our Federal environmental law, this means an impact that is important or notable.
  • Remember too – an ‘impact’ includes a likely impact. A significant impact is “likely” if it is a real or not remote chance or possibility.
  • You might also like to write about the ‘precautionary principle’ which the Minister is required to take into account when assessing fossil fuel projects. The ‘precautionary principle’ means that lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing a measure steps to prevent degradation of harm to the environment where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage.

But you don’t have to be an expert – you can also just ask the Minister to look at the 3000 scientific documents provided by ECoCeQ and accept that the only conclusion the evidence leads to is that she should vary the original decision to recognise the likely climate harms of this new coal proposal.

This evidence demonstrates the vast and irreversible consequences new coal mines and gas plants would have on our living world.


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6. Submit your comment and let ACF know

Once you’re happy with your comment, submit it via the government portal.


Then let ACF know so we can track how many comments we make to the Minister.

And that’s it! Thank you for raising your voice to protect nature and our climate.


Make another comment!

Once you have made a comment, we encourage you to make a comment on another proposal. In fact, you can re-use the same comment on each of the 18 proposals.

As long as you have followed the instructions in step 3, your comment will be legally significant for all proposals. So please consider making another comment and help us reach a critical mass across all the new polluting proposals.

Visit the Living Wonders website for the full list of proposals and step-by-step guides on how to make a comment on each.

For more support in writing an effective comment, you may like to attend one of Environmental Justice Australia’s (EJA) upcoming comment-writing parties.

Image credit: Jordi Prat Puig

Gavan McFadzean

Climate Change and Clean Energy Program Manager, ACF