Coal Mining in Central Queensland
Coal Mining in the Bowen Basin of Central Queensland has brought a great deal of wealth and prosperity to the region, but at a significant cost to the environment.
On the global scale, every tonne of coal mined will produce CO2 emissions and contribute to Climate Change. In the Garnaut Climate Change Review – Update 2011 it is clear that a "business as usual" approach will lead to accelerated climate change with dreadful effects for the planet. In chapter 2 of this report - "Australia is an exception among the developed countries. We stand out as the developed country whose anticipated business-as-usual emissions growth bucks the general trend of developed countries, largely as the result of the expansion of the role of resources in the economy."
In other words, at a time when we should all be cutting back on carbon intensive industries, what is Qld doing - EXPANDING the coal mining industry!
On the local scale, coal mines have a devastating effect on the natural environment and on good quality farming land. While the coal industry likes to boast that they only effect a few percent of Queensland's land area, the effect on that area is extreme.
Although we have put up with the environmental impacts of coal mining in Queensland in the past, the forecast boom in mining development will create a massive degradation of the environment which is no longer acceptable.
Capricorn Conservation Council has developed a set of policy positions on mining which is now displayed here.
One example is the issue of Final Voids. These are large holes in the ground left over after an open cut mine. Many people think that mining companies revegetate and rehabilitate their overburden spoil heaps. Well they do - up to a point. They are highly skilled at revegetating those areas that are easy to do. However when it comes to Final Voids they just give up and walk away, declaring it to be too hard. Final Voids can be up to a kilometre long, 200 m wide and 50 m to 100 m deep. They end up accumulating some pretty saline and unusable water and have to be fenced off from stock. The Qld gov't has no policy to require mining companies to fill in Final Voids. Apart from the effects of Climate Change, the long term legacy from open cut coal mining in Central Qld will be a string of Final Voids throughout the Bowen Basin like a pox on the natural landscape of Qld. So much for the so-called "Environmental Responsibility" of the mining industry, aided by the lax regulation of the State Government.
Also - Rolleston Coal Expansion Project - EPBC Referral. CCC has objected to this project and has made the case in our submission to the EPBC process.
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See also Bimblebox Nature RefugeSee letter below from Alpha grazier: