Environment Minister Sussan Ley should reject a proposal for a huge open cut metallurgical and thermal coal mine in central Queensland because it would worsen climate change and hasten the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

In a submission to Minister Ley, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said Glencore’s proposed Valeria mine would produce up to 16 million tonnes of coal a year for 35 years, resulting in at least 1,344 million tonnes of climate pollution.

“The Great Barrier Reef has been whacked by three major bleaching events within the space of five years and scientists warn it could be hit again in coming months,” said ACF’s climate change program manager Gavan McFadzean.

“To approve a massive new coal mine would be a slap in the face of every person who loves the reef and wants it to survive.

“ACF calls on Environment Minister Sussan Ley to exercise her power under Australia’s environment law to reject Glencore’s proposal on the basis that it would have unacceptable impacts on matters of national environmental significance – namely that it would hasten the destruction of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

“Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs all over the world.

“The International Energy Agency has made it clear the global pathway to net zero pollution by mid-century cannot include new coal or gas.

“The area where Glencore wants to dig this mine is also known to be home to koalas, greater gliders and squatter pigeons – all threatened species in Queensland.

“There is no place for new coal mines in the third decade of the 21st century.

“We call on Minister Ley to stand up for the reef, for the threatened species and for the future by firmly rejecting this proposal.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992 or Freya Cole on 0477 638 774. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email [email protected]