Carmichael Mine given the go ahead, activist groups outraged
ACTIVIST groups are outraged by a decision to approve the Carmichael Coal and Rail Project.
GetUp, one of Australia's largest campaigning communities, said Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has betrayed Australia's national icon.
"Greg Hunt's decision to trust Adani with our Great Barrier Reef is a betrayal of our national icon and the will of the majority of Australians who care about the Reef," said GetUp Campaigns Director Paul Oosting.
"An overwhelming majority of Australians (80%) want to see the waters of the Great Barrier Reef protected from dredging.
"More than 260,000 people have signed a GetUp petition calling on Minister Hunt to protect the Great Barrier Reef and halt all industrial development activity in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area."
The Mackay Conservation Group agreed stating the Federal Government is blind to the devastation it will cause to water, habitat and the local environment.
"The conditions placed on the mine relate to further studies on impact on groundwater and species, which raises concerns that Greg Hunt did not adequately understand the impacts of this mine before making the approval," said Mackay Conservation Group Co-ordinator Ellen Roberts.
"Adani wants to export coal from the Carmichael mine through its huge new port to be built in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area."
The Australian Conservation Foundation's healthy ecosystems campaigner Ruchira Talukdar said while the 36 "strict" conditions were welcome, the mine will remain a disaster.
"While some of the conditions imposed by the Environment Minister are welcome, they cannot stop this mine from being an environmental disaster," she said.
"If the federal government's proposed handover of environmental approval powers to states goes ahead, there will effectively be nobody to monitor or enforce compliance with these conditions, as the Queensland department is under-resourced and incapable of adequately monitoring compliance."
THE $16.5 billion Carmichael Coal and Rail Project in Queensland's Galilee Basin, has been given federal approval.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the project proposed by Indian company Adani could go ahead, subject to 36 "strict" conditions focused on conserving groundwater.
The mine project, which will be Australia's biggest coal mine and would be one of the biggest in the world, covers 200 square kilometres and will produce about 60 million tonnes of coal a year.
The proposal consisted of six open-cut pits and up to five underground mines, to supply Indian power plants with enough coal to generate electricity for up to 100 million people.
The conditions were mainly focused on conserving groundwater, such as requiring 730 megalitres of water be returned to the Great Artesian Basin every year for five years.
Ben Pearson of Greenpeace said the mine's environmental impact statement reads like an obituary column.
"The Federal Environment Minister has laid out the red carpet for a coal company with a shocking track record to dig up the outback, dump on the Great Barrier Reef and fuel climate change," Mr Pearson said.
"Carmichael Mine is set to be one of the largest coal mines in the world and its environmental and climate footprint is equally immense.
"The environmental impact statement of Carmichael Mine reads more like an obituary column than a plan for development."