Australian authorities near decision on controversial Galilee Basin coal mine

Australian authorities near decision on controversial Galilee Basin coal mine

Two approvals needed for the controversial Carmichael coal mine will be put to a final decision in the Queensland government

adani coal mine

Photo: David Maurice Smith/NYT

Two approvals needed for the controversial Carmichael coal mine will be put to a final decision in the Queensland government today.

The authorizations for the mine in the Galilee Basin surround mining company Adani’s needs to prevent groundwater contamination and improve triggers that alert the company of threats to the nearby Doongmabulla Springs.

The mine’s approval has pitted action on climate change against the need for jobs in Queensland. While the Australian Climate Council estimates that the mine could lead to an additional 705 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per year, Adani’s promise to add thousands of jobs has proved too sweet a deal for Queensland to pass up. Indeed, the mine has been named as a big reason for Labor’s lost seats in the state and the Morrison government’s upset re-election in May.

The approvals are expected to be resolved today, and construction will likely begin in the coming weeks. With Morrison’s government still in power, it remains likely that we see a continued shift in favour of jobs at the expense of climate policy. Ultimately, the mine represents an ongoing battle for politicians to find a balance between climate action and job growth.

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