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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Shameful approval of mega mine near our reef

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I am really ashamed to be an Australian, with the pending coal mine dump site, at Abbot Point, given approval, by both the federal government and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The first coal mine is owned by Indian billionaire, Guatum Adani, while a second mine is planned in the Galilee Basin by another Indian billionaire, Gina (no heart) Rinehart, along with the big Clive Palmer (why do we give him, so much attention, when he is a major partner, in the rape and pillage of the Great Barrier Reef?)

Dumping has been approved for three million cubic metres of dredge spoil, inside the marine park, with plans to expand the coal port at Abbot Point.

Epic, irreversible damage, to possibly the most important World Heritage area on the planet.

This damage caused by the dumping of slurry, resulting in among other things, turbid water, killing of coral (needs light to photosynthesise and feed), dugongs, turtles, fish and other marine species.

It will further contribute to acidification of ocean and more greenhouse gases.

It is unconscionable that this magnificent eco system and beauty could be destroyed for ever.

Along with this, the Great Barrier Reef has already significantly declined in the last 5 years,  according to scientists, quite possibly due to a similar port at Hay Point near Gladstone.

It may be over the border but it would be great if we could muster as much momentum to this potentially tragic issue, as we have seen in this area when objecting to coal seam gas mining.

I urge anyone concerned to act, to stop this. Sign petitions, write to the minister for environment, Greg Hunt and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Do whatever you can to put a halt to this flabbergasting madness.

Sally Freeman, Byron Bay

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  1. I agree with the suggestion to write to Hunt in order to stop this madness.
    But most intelligent analysts are suggesting that these projects will never go ahead because they are uneconomic given current global commodity prices. With China slowly transitioning away from coal, its price is likely to come under more pressure in the next few years making the development of Gallillee even less likely.
    It reminds me of the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill – government gave the green light for environment vandalism but that great seer “the market” was not interested in carrying out the exploitation.
    Perhaps part of the government’s rationale in approving the mine and rail project and the port at Abbott Point is to send a message – not only to the world but also its domestic financial and ideological backers – that Australia is indeed open for business. But also they don’t give a F%$# about the climate – which in the neoliberal world view will be mended on the public purse – and at great private profit – via geoengineering. They understand that other environmental problems are best solved via market solutions – i.e. don;t let the government impede the market – what ever the market decides is obviously right.
    So in addition to writing to Hunt (and Abbott and anyone else) and fighting this madness (by whatever method), it is also helpful to keep up the pressure of divestment – as a means of making it uneconomical to keep trashing the planet. These are called “market signals”.


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