Queensland’s Palaszczuk Labor government has failed the public and the environment by granting state environmental authority for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“If it goes ahead, the Carmichael coal mine would create billions of tonnes of pollution, making climate change worse and irreversibly damaging the Great Barrier Reef,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“Some of the world’s most respected scientists, including Sir David Attenborough and the University of Queensland’s Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, have highlighted the damage climate change, driven by coal-burning, is doing to the Barrier Reef.

“Even Stephen Miles, Queensland’s Minister for the Environment & the Great Barrier Reef, has acknowledged climate change is the greatest long-term threat to the reef.

“I cannot understand why the Palaszczuk Labor government would choose to undermine the state’s powerhouse tourism industry and betray the millions of Australians who want the reef to survive and thrive for generations to come,” she said.

ACF is challenging the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of the Carmichael project in a Federal Court case scheduled to be heard in Brisbane in May.

ACF will argue that Minister Hunt failed to consider whether the impact of climate pollution, resulting from burning the mine’s coal, would be inconsistent with Australia’s international obligations to protect the World Heritage-listed Barrier Reef.

“In addition to the climate concerns, experts fear the Carmichael project could push the Southern Black-throated Finch to extinction.  And it is sadly ironic the state government has granted its approval today, World Wetlands Day, as there are grave concerns about what the thirsty open-cut coal mine would do to the nearby Doongmabulla Springs.

“For endangered species, for outback Queensland’s water supply, for the Reef and for future generations – this mine must not be allowed to proceed,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

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