The Alpha coal mine has cleared another hurdle today, with the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissing an appeal from an environmental group.
Conservation group Coast and Country had challenged a decision by the Queensland Environment Minister to issue environmental authority for the central Queensland mine.
The $6 billion GVK Hancock-owned Galilee Basin project is proposed to produce 30 million tonnes of coal per year and employ more than 2000 workers during it’s 30-year mine life.
Coast and Country argued the mine would cause significant environmental damage, and contribute to global warming.
Jo-Anne Bragg, CEO of Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) who represented Coast and Country, said the group was disappointed in the decision.
“Our client said, as a matter of law, the impact of the burning of fossil fuels from the Alpha mine should not be disregarded, or given zero weight, because other mines may cause similar impacts if the Alpha mine is refused,” Ms Bragg said.
“The argument that coal from other mines would replace the environmental damage of Alpha coal if it did not go ahead is known as the ‘substitution argument’. It is used by coal mines to avoid responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
“We said, as a matter of law, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions, regardless of what others may do.
“We all know that burning fossil fuels is contributing to global warming, extreme weather events and severe damage to our Great Barrier Reef. Every further approval locks in those impacts.”
The Court of Appeal dismissed the case and ordered the conservation group pay court costs.
The mine development is yet to be granted a mining lease.