Anti-mining activists have again commenced legal action against the development of the Alpha Coal Project, unfortunately delaying thousands of jobs for Queensland.
This legal action follows a ruling from the Supreme Court on 4 September 2015 rejecting an appeal to the previous decision of the Land Court, and an appeal to the granting of the Environmental Authority for the proposed Alpha coal mine.
This new legal challenge now represents the fourth time anti-mining activists have lodged a legal challenge to the Alpha Coal Project, this time to the Queensland Court of Appeals.
This new appeal does not involve any landholders and does not incorporate objections to groundwater.
This new appeal only involves anti-mining activists and is based on an objection to Scope 3 emissions, meaning emissions from coal fired power generation in other countries not being incorporated into Australian approvals.
This new legal challenge completely misses the fact that exporting coal from the Galilee Basin will not in any way change global carbon emissions or global demand for thermal coal.
Global demand for thermal coal is driven by the ongoing development of world’s cheapest form of electricity from coal-fired power generation, which will continue to grow in global capacity for decades to come.
If we as a nation don’t develop the Galilee Basin, all that will happen is some other country will develop their equivalent resource and gain the significant benefits of billions of dollars in taxes and royalties and tens of thousands of jobs over many decades.
This new legal challenge also misses the fact that incorporating overseas emissions into Australian approvals is virtually impossible, especially given that targeted nations are developing world class coal-fired power generators that significantly reduce emissions.
Even the United Nations recognises such complexity in stipulating that any emissions from coal fired power generation should be dealt with at the country of destination, not the country of origin.
Our Galilee Basin projects also present an opportunity to access a low ash, low sulphur, high quality thermal coal, which will offer the ability to lower emissions from global coal-fired power generation.
This new legal challenge will delay thousands of jobs for Queensland for around an additional six to nine months on top of the already incurred 30 months of legal delays from the actions of anti-mining activists.
The development of the Alpha Coal Project will create 5,000 jobs during around three years of construction and over 2,000 long-term jobs during the 30+ years of operations.
To date, we have invested tens of millions of dollars and thousands of man hours assessing, planning and engaging with communities to reach the point of achieving approvals, which included around 300 collaborative scientific studies, involving over 500 specialist consultants.
GVK Hancock has complied with every environmental regulatory requirement to date and will continue to do so.