Protesters converged on Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek’s electorate office on May 12 after she approved a new coal mine in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
The development of the Isaac River coal mine is the first coal project she has approved under Labor. However, she is refusing to reconsider the approvals of the Mount Pleasant open cut coal mine near Muswellbrook in New South Wales, an expansion of the Narrabri coal mine by Whitehaven Coal and a life extension of the Ensham coal mine in the Bowen Basin.
Protesters said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the majority of world scientists are warning that any new coal projects would worsen the current climate emergency.
They said three coal projects, which are pending approval, must not be given the go-ahead.
Plibesek has dismissed requests from the Environmental Council of Central Queensland to consider the impacts of new coal mining projects on climate, endangered species and ecosystems.
Climate Council spoksperson Dr Jennifer Rayner, said the decision takes the country in “the wrong direction”.
“The environment minister has a responsibility to scrutinise all risks of harm to the environment, and it is irresponsible that she has refused to look at the immense and indisputable climate harm that all new coal and gas projects pose.”
Protesters demanded the minister “do her job” and protect the environment and delivered signed letters outlining their concerns.