New legal challenge of Carmichael mine

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 15 January, 2015:
The Mackay Conservation Group (MCG), has launched court proceedings challenging Environment Minister Greg Hunt and mining company Adani Enterprises over the approval of the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland. 

MCG will be represented in this case by EDO NSW, a community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental matters. 

MCG is calling for the July 2014 approval to be rendered invalid on the grounds the Minister failed under his duty laid down by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act to take down stream greenhouse gas emissions from the mine into account.

If successful, this test case could change how governments assess fossil fuel projects such as coal mines.
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“By approving Adani’s Carmichael proposal, the Australian Government is in major breach of its own environmental regulations,” said Ellen Roberts, Co-ordinator at Mackay Conservation Group. 

“It is unacceptable at this time that any responsible government should willfully ignore the climate implications of what could be one of the most polluting mines in the world.”   

If it proceeds, at full capacity, the Carmichael mine would export 60 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) of thermal coal from the Galilee Basin to India, via the port of Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef coast.

When burnt, coal from the Carmichael mine will produce 128.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year at peak production, or four times the total carbon emissions of New Zealand.

“Queenslanders are being held hostage to the government’s desire to burnish its own image of ‘getting things done. Sabotaging farmland, water supplies and the Great Barrier Reef for the exaggerated short-term benefits of this mine – most of which would flow offshore – defies good policy and common sense,” said Roberts.

“In the face of climate change and the devastating effects of this mine on farmland, water supplies and the Great Barrier Reef, we simply must do everything we can to hold our government to account.” 

The Mackay Conservation Group has been protecting the environment in Central Queensland for over thirty years. 


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