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Australia rejects a coal mine near the Great Barrier Reef

Australia rejects a coal mine near Great Barrier Reef

On Wednesday, the Australian government dismissed the proposal for a new open-cut coal mine close to the Great Barrier Reef in light of the risk of “irreversible damage” and environmental laws.

Clive Palmer, a controversial Australian business tycoon, proposed the mining project, which was to be situated within 10 km of the Queensland coastline, approximately 6.2 miles from the Great Barrier Reef. While it would have been 700 kilometers (435 miles) northwest of Brisbane.

The minister for the environment and water, Tanya Plibersek, suggested last year that she’d been meaning to reject the proposal and finalized it on Wednesday.

According to her, it’s the first attempt by a federal environment minister to use her powers to reject a mine while referring to the environment laws.

Plibersek said in a social media video post that “The risk of pollution and irreversible damage to the reef is very real. The project would have had unacceptable impacts on freshwater in the area and potentially on fragile seagrass meadows.”

She also stated that within 10 days of their public consultation, the department received approximately 9,000 comments from the public expressing concerns about the mine.

The Australian government has already announced a 1 billion Australian dollar plan ($700 million) towards protecting and preserving the fragile environment in 2022, comprising measures for climate adaptation and conserving water quality. It also feels a great deal of pressure from UNESCO to protect the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef, which spreads over 2,300 km (1,429 miles), underwent a mass bleaching event last year for the sixth time as a result of warming waters, which in turn were caused by changes in climate.

In an economy that is still intrinsically linked to fossil fuels, the 2022 elected government promised solid actions as soon as it came to power. However, their climate policies are turning out to be “insufficient,” as per the Climate Action Tracker, which says that Australia isn’t on the path to achieving its goal of limiting warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial standards.

The Australian government has also rejected Green Party calls to cancel all upcoming fossil fuel projects.

- Published By Team Australia News

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