Final approval of a coal mine in northern New South Wales will not be granted by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt unless an independent body is satisfied its water-management plan is environmentally sound reports the ABC
Mr Hunt told Macquarie Radio this morning he would consult a Commonwealth statutory authority before giving the project final approval. “I will do something today … that I have never done before, that I’m not required under law to do,” he said.
But this is hardly the point. Here we have the Environment Minister giving approval for a Chinese mining company to dig a great big hole in Australian farmland. This means the land will stop producing food for Australia and start producing coal for China.
How long is it since the job of the environment minister was to protect the environment?
It would be interesting to hear Greg Hunt’s explanation of how this coal mine is anything other than an unmitigated environmental disaster. And it would be good if he could skip the “it’s good for jobs” argument that was used to justify allowing logging to continue in Tasmania. It’s not good enough to save a few jobs and destroy the environment.
With careful planning jobs can be replaced relatively quickly, the landscape around Queenstown is probably destroyed forever.
As will be the environment at Liverpool Plains.