Australia denies permission for coal mine near Great Barrier Reef
SYDNEY — Australia’s environment minister on Wednesday declined to grant permission for a new thermal coal project owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer near the Great Barrier Reef.
The Central Queensland Coal owned mine is in the Styx Coal Basin, just off the coast of central Queensland.
“I’ve decided that the adverse environmental impacts are simply too great,” Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said in a video posted to social media.
“The mine is an open-cut coal mine less than 10 km from the Great Barrier Reef, and the risk of pollution and irreversible damage to the reef is very real.”
Plibersek said her office received 9,000 public submissions on the issue in ten business days.
Central Queensland Coal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Environmental experts say the Unesco world heritage-listed reef, the world’s biggest coral reef ecosystem, is suffering from the significant impact of climate change and warming of oceans.