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Abbott and Newman ignore market with coal at all costs agenda

The Abbott and Newman Governments are ignoring dwindling global coal demand and the oversupply of ports in Queensland in their push for mega coal mining in the Galilee Basin with export through the Great Barrier Reef.

"The Abbott and Newman governments are insanely pushing ahead with their industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef, even though the market reality is that more coal ports for the Reef aren't wanted or needed," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

"Yesterday BHP pulled out of its portion of the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion because of dwindling global coal demand, while the Centre for Policy Development found Queensland's ports are operating at only two thirds capacity.

"Yet the Abbott Government has just approved a massive water-intensive coal mine in the Galilee Basin for Gina Rinehart, with plans for export at Abbot Point.

"This basically acts as de facto approval for the dredging to expand Abbot Point, for a number of companies, of which BHP was one, which the Abbott Government is set to decide on next month.

"The old parties need to wake up and realise we're at the end of the fossil fuel era, with global coal markets dwindling, while we have safe viable renewable alternatives at hand.

"The old parties are stuck in the past, pushing ahead with coal ports in the Great Barrier Reef even though industry and the community doesn't want or need them.

"The Abbott and Newman governments are putting the jobs of the 63 000 people that rely on a healthy Reef at risk with their backward addiction to mega coal mining.

"The Abbott Government needs to take heed of the stark market reality, the oversupply of Queensland ports and the World Heritage committee's warning that the Reef could be added to the international in-danger list, by refusing the dredging at Abbot Point, which is both unnecessary and environmentally reckless," Senator Waters said.

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