Apr 07, 2017

High Court quashes anti-Alpha mine bid

High Court quashes anti-Alpha mine bid A test pit at the proposed Alpha coal mine site in the Galilee Basin.

Queensland’s Environmental Defenders Office has failed in a bid to gain a further court appeal to fight GVK Hancock’s proposed Alpha coal project using an argument based on climate change.

The application in the High Court of Australia today on behalf of conservation organisation Coast and Country group was unsuccessful, the EDO said.

The Queensland Resources Council said  that Coast and Country, through the taxpayer-funded EDO, had repeatedly failed in their combined attempts to argue that a coal mine in Queensland would increase global emissions.

“The scope 3 argument flies in the face of this reality and is the equivalent to activists demanding that Saudi Arabia should take responsibility for emissions coming from the exhaust pipes of Australians’ cars using Saudi oil,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“This is just one in a long line of anti-coal activists’ attempts to delay jobs and economic growth to Queensland, while pretending that a refusal to supply our coal will mean that countries like India will not simply source their coal from elsewhere.

“The GVK Hancock project formally entered the process for its project on 18/9/2008. The activists’ tactics mean that the only jobs being created are for lawyers.”

Mr Macfarlane said the world would need a mix of energy not only to meet the demand for energy, but to measure up to agreements at COP21 in Paris where nearly 200 countries submitted their commitments towards keeping global temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius.

“The rapid roll-out of High Efficiency, Low Emission (HELE) coal technologies to generate electricity, using higher quality coal found in Queensland, feature in several countries’ commitments,” he said.

“India has no intention of halting the use of coal to generate power but they are committed to using the HELE technologies, which perform best using the higher-quality coal found in Queensland. Given the energy security issues Australia is facing, we should implement HELE here, and we have said North Queensland would be the perfect place to build one.”

GVK Hancock plans to develop an open-cut mine in the Galilee Basin to produce 32Mtpa of high quality thermal coal, along with associated rail infrastructure including a 495km line to Abbot Point.