NATIONAL AFFAIRS: by Patrick J. ByrneNews Weekly
Anti-coal campaign gets underway in Queensland
, April 14, 2012
Last week, two radical environmental organisations committed to halting Australian coal-mining helped launch an operation to stop the development of two coal-mines in central Queensland.
Both organisations were involved in producing the recently leaked Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom draft strategy document.
In a media release dated March 22, the Queensland branch of the Wilderness Society announced that the anti-coal-mining campaign aims to stop not only the Waratah Coal mine near Alpha, about 450 km west of Rockhampton, but to deter another nearby Hancock Prospecting mine nearby.
The mines plan to export coal via a new rail line to be built from the mines to a new port at Abbot Point, south of Mackay.
Key individuals and groups behind the campaign against the two mines include:
• The Wilderness Society, whose Queensland office is the coordination centre for the campaign;
• John Hepburn, from Greenpeace Australia Pacific;
• Simon Sheikh, national director of GetUp!;
• Queensland Conservation;
• The Australian Conservation Foundation;
• Friends of the Earth; and
• Paola Cassoni, owner of Bimblebox Nature Refuge, which will be affected by the mining.
Greenpeace activist John Hepburn coordinated the organisation behind the Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom strategy document. GetUp! also contributed to the campaign strategy, as reported in News Weekly, March 31, 2012.
The anti-coal boom document said that the intention was to massively cut Australia’s future coal exports because burning coal would supposedly accelerate human-induced climate change “creating a global climate tipping point”.
Similarly, Greenpeace says on its webpage that the reason it is attempting to block Queensland’s new Waratah coal-mine is because it is “a terrifying new push by the coal industry to dramatically increase Australia’s coal exports, which will have serious impacts on our climate and biodiversity”.
Patrick J. Byrne is vice-president of the National Civic Council.
“Green groups unite to support landowner against Palmer mine”, The Wilderness Society (Qld) Inc. (Brisbane), March 22, 2012 (media release).
“Mega mine? Mega disaster”, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, March 2012.
Patrick J. Byrne, “Radical green plan to sabotage new Australian coal-mines, railways and ports”, News Weekly, March 31, 2012.