In response to the Queensland Coordinator-General’s approval of the China Stone open cut coal mine in the Galilee Basin, Australian Conservation Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:
“This decision is based on absurd logic that rejects clear evidence from climate scientists who are urging a rapid transition away from burning more coal in order to stop global warming and ensure we have a safe and liveable planet.
“We’ve always said that if the Adani coal mine goes ahead it would be the thin edge of the wedge that opens a major new coal basin right at the time when we must ditch coal for clean energy.
“It’s clear that if the dangerous Adani coal mine goes ahead others, like China Stone, will soon follow. Our elected representatives are wilfully gambling the future safety of our planet by approving these coal mines.
“If all the coal in the Galilee Basin was burnt it would produce 705 million tonnes of climate pollution each year, which is more than 1.3 times Australia’s annual pollution from all sources like cars, industry, energy and agriculture.
“We note the proponents of China Stone are also proposing to build a massive new coal-fired power station as part of this project.
“If this plant is also approved overall China Stone would create 230 million tonnes of climate pollution across its life through direct emissions. That does not include the enormous climate pollution that would be released by burning the exported coal dug out of this mine.
“Ultimately it doesn’t matter where this coal is burnt – it will hurt our country. Queensland is on the front line of climate change with worsening droughts hurting famers and coral bleaching destroying our Great Barrier Reef. It is the height of recklessness to approve another coal mine in the face of this climate damage.
“Just like Adani, this mine also represents a major threat to Queensland’s precious clean water and would destroy habitat for native species like koalas, Black-throated finch and Short-beaked echidna.
“The Queensland Government has failed to protect our communities by giving this mine a tick. The Federal Government must now reject it through national environment law.
“All our elected representatives must work to stop the Adani coal mine, stop China Stone, and ensure not one tonne of Galilee coal is dug up and burnt so we can begin halting global warming and protect the people, communities and natural world that we love.”