Wildlife Queensland feels strongly that support for The Adani Carmichael coal mine is not only misguided but reflective of yesterday’s thinking. With the challenges being presented by climate change, new coal mines are not what we need. It is time to develop appropriate strategies to ensure a smooth and controlled transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Wildlife Queensland has been opposed to the Adani Carmichael mine since its inception, lodging opposing submissions as long ago as 2010, and appearing before the Senate Environment and Communication Legislation Committee opposing the development in 2013.
If it is to go ahead, the mine will be located in the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton and will be the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere. Covering 44,700ha with surface disturbance in the order of 27,872ha, it is anticipated to be approximately 50km in length. The mine is planned to contain six open cut pits and five underground mines and will consume 12 gigalitres of water per annum (about two percent of the water taken from the entire Great Artesian Basin annually). It will also draw water from the Belyando River as well as dewatering from open cut and underground mines. At its peak the mine will produce 60 million tonnes of coal annually but probably average around 40 tonnes per annum of coal over its life span, anticipated to be between 25 and 60 years.
The habitat supported within the mine boundaries is home to a number of endangered species including the yakka skink, ornamental snake, waxy cabbage palm and the southern subspecies of the black-throated finch. Koala habitat also occurs in this area and populations of these animals are already under stress in many parts of the state.
Controversy has been the mine’s companion since day one, with various legal challenges and more than 10 appeals and judicial processes, none of which have been successful to date. The primary reasons for government support are jobs and coal royalties, but the actual jobs created have been a matter of dispute, and as for the royalties, it appears there will be no holiday for Adani; deferred payment plus interest appears to be the order of the day.
Wildlife Queensland draws your attention to a document prepared by Environmental Justice Australia titled ‘A review of the Adani group’s environmental history in the context of the Carmichael coal mine approval’ which states:
“The results of our investigation indicate that the public can have little confidence that important issues regarding the track record of the Adani group have been adequately scrutinised…”
Wildlife Queensland has developed its views over the years about this proposed development alleged to benefit Queensland substantially, but at what cost to the environment and its wildlife? Do the potential risks to our environment, threats to our wildlife and doubts about the real economic benefits warrant such a development? Surely governments can be more creative and forward thinking and demonstrate better care for planet Earth. It would appear that obtaining appropriate financial arrangements is the final hurdle for Adani. Wildlife Queensland trusts that suitable arrangements cannot be found. Queensland will be a better place without the Adani Carmichael coal mine.