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Environment laws can’t stop biggest coal mine in southern hemisphere

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Larissa Waters

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Queensland

media release

Thursday, 23 August 2012 Environment laws can’t stop biggest coal mine in southern hemisphere The approval of Gina Rinehart’s Alpha coal mine in Queensland, the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere, shows that Australia’s national environment laws need to be made stronger, not weaker, the Australian Greens said today. “The fact that Tony Burke had to take over Campbell Newman’s bungled mine assessment shows that the states can’t be trusted with environmental responsibility, and the fact Burke has now approved the mine shows our national environment laws are too weak to protect the places we love,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said. “The environmental impacts of this mega-mine on threatened species, air quality, rare wetlands and the huge increase in shipping on the Great Barrier Reef will be devastating, not to mention the obvious climate implications of a 30 megatonne coal mine. “At a time when we should be acting to deal with climate change, both the old parties have approved Australia’s largest coal mine, which threatens our global climate and will turn our precious Great Barrier Reef into a coal and gas highway. “Instead of requiring that any of the crucial environment assets be protected from this mine now, Tony Burke is leaving all the detail to management plans that haven’t even been written yet. “Only the Greens are working for stronger environmental laws that can protect the places and wildlife that are precious to all Australians.” Media contact: Elissa McKay 0419 626 725