August 20, 2015

The Abbott Government must reject Abbot Point dredging and dumping proposal

BRISBANE, 20th August: Australia is renewing calls for the Queensland Government to cancel its Abbot Point coal port expansion plans after Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham today released the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the hotly contested project. If built, the Abbot Point coal export expansion facility, located on the Great Barrier Reef, would require the dredging of 1.1 million cubic metres of seabed from the floor of the Great Barrier Reef, further threatening the already severely stressed World Treasure.

The project would also provide a gateway to unlocking nine mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin that would drive dangerous climate change– one of the biggest threats facing the Reef.

“350 Australia and the 50,000 members we represent are disheartened to again watch our government put Indian mining giant Adani’s disastrous coal export proposal ahead of the health and well-being of Australians, our climate and our Reef,” said Blair Palese, CEO of Australia.

“The Federal and Queensland Government’s relentless efforts to support Adani’s proposal is reckless on every level. This is the third time the Abbot Point project has come through the approvals process, it’s time our Governments cut their losses and let this fizzer of a project go,” said Palese.

“People from coast-to-coast and from around the world have come out against this project, but instead of taking the responsible path to securing a safe future for our Reef and climate, Tony Abbott’s government is working hard to gut the very environmental protection laws that keep our air, water, and climate safe for our families.”

“We’ve seen 13 international banks publicly rule out Adani’s ill-fated proposal, and even Adani itself has recently fired six contractors and several of its own Australian staff. This is a white elephant of a project and everyone knows it. The Banks know it. Even Adani knows it. So when is our Government going to see the writing on the wall and finally stop putting the future of our Reef in jeopardy?”

“As we head into the Paris climate talks, it is crucial that Australia recognises that approval of the Galilee coal mines would counter any agreement we secure to limit greenhouse gas emissions globally.”

“A recent REPRISK report ranks the Abbot Point project as the third biggest threat to corporate reputation out of 12,000 projects currently progressing globally. With all these factors in mind, there is absolutely no way this environmental disaster of project should ever legitimately pass muster to move ahead with approvals,” concluded Palese.