Coal mine inflicts major damage, opponents say
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Coal mine inflicts major damage, opponents say

Opponents of a massive coal mine planned for central Queensland have argued that the project’s approval would mean a world without a Great Barrier Reef while taking a swipe at businessman Clive Palmer.

Youth Verdict and the 8,000-acre Bimblebox Nature Refuge, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, object to the mine lease and environmental approval for Waratah Coal’s proposed Galilee Coal Project.

Coal mine inflicts major damage, opponents sayOral submissions to the Queensland Land Court that took place in Brisbane on Thursday put an end to hearings that began six weeks ago.

They included a legal first with evidence consistent with Indigenous protocols in the Torres Strait and Cairns. Traditional owner Jiritju Fourmile provided cultural evidence and testified about the impacts of climate change.

“To approve this mine is to decide the world will be one where we don’t have a Great Barrier Reef,” opposing attorney Saul Holt QC told Land Court president Fleur Kingham on Thursday.

Holt said that with a smaller revised plan, the project would still be more than twice the size of Australia’s next largest thermal coal mine.

“The total amount of carbon dioxide from this mine alone represents one percent of the global carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.7 degrees,” he added.

“Those releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will take place in the decades critical to limiting the direst aspects of climate change.”

The mine would have an economic benefit, primarily in royalties, but would also inflict “very serious damage,” Holt said.

“The question here is whether the damage caused by the mine, the price the community has to pay for it, a price that will not be paid by the ultimate shareholder of Waratah Coal… is worth that economic benefit,” he added. Ready. †

Mr. Holt said Waratah Coal was part of Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy group, and its past performance has been worrying.

“It operates at the whim of its sole ultimate shareholder Clive Palmer…”

“Given how. Little (Waratah Coal) has done on this proposed project in the past 12 years; astonishingly, it has nevertheless managed to commit two offenses for violating its environmental authority; it is subject to an environmental protection order, and it is failed at the simplest of regulatory tasks…it is indeed very difficult to find something that has done well,” he told the court.

Mr. Holt expressed concerns about the project’s longevity, saying that demand for thermal coal was declining and price cuts could likely end the mine and associated royalties early.

Waratah Coal is expected to make oral comments on July 21. Still, in the opening speeches, the company’s attorney Peter Ambrose QC argued that while coal is being phased out, there will still be demand for the project’s duration.

He said that many countries are on track to cut emissions, but there could be “pockets of future growth” in rapidly developing Indo-Pacific areas.

The coal to be extracted could displace lower-quality coal from other sources, meaning less burning for the same energy output, argued Mr. Ambrose.