Queensland ALP government representatives have called on environmentalists within the party to be pragmatic about the state coal mining industry.
Yesterday’s state ALP conference saw environment minister Steven Miles say he believed that renewables were the focus for the future, but that he did not want the ALP to be the party that “jolts” the economy in terms of coal.
“We can mine coal in Queensland, where we have the highest mine safety record in the world, we mine coal with environmental rigour, and we mine coal that’s very efficient and economic to burn,” he said.
“If we don’t allow this to go ahead, coal is one of the most prolific minerals on Earth; there are many other sources of coal, but none as good as the coal we mine here.
“We’re not just a bunch of greenies; we have the fantastic voices of our trade unions and, together, we can make sure working people are brought on this journey.”
The Galilee Basin has six new coal mining projects in process, the Carmichael project being the most notable for recent trouble with the environmental approvals process.
Four other mines have been approved including GVK Hancock’s Alpha and Kevin’s Corner mines, AMCI’ss Galilee South mine, and Waratah Coal’s China First mine.
The China Stone project owned by Chinese miner Macmines is still awaiting approval for the environmental impact statement, and court appeals against the mine are underway.
China Stone is expected to create up to 3900 jobs during construction, according to state development minister Anthony Lynham.