Priorities of coral and coal clash in Aussie Sunshine State ( – May 31, 2017)

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The Associated Press – CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — As many Australians grapple with how to save their Great Barrier Reef from global warming, others are preoccupied with building one of the world’s biggest coal mines nearby. Coal mining and environmental tourism are both cash cows for the state of Queensland, a resource-rich northeast playground that promotes itself as Australia’s “Sunshine State.”

But the Carmichael coal project, a massive 22 billion Australian dollar ($16.5 billion) mine that Indian resource billionaire Gautam Adani hopes to start work on this year in the remote Galilee Basin, has created an extraordinary clash between the resource and environment sectors.

Those concerned by the environmental cost of the colossal development are particularly irked that federal and state governments have considered subsidizing Adani’s entry into an already-crowded Australian coal mining industry.

Adani boasts that the mine will generate power for 100 million Indians, while providing Queensland with 10,000 jobs plus $22 billion in mining tax and royalties revenue within 30 years.

“This will assist much needed public funding to help deliver schools, hospitals, roads and other services and stimulating activity throughout the economy,” an Adani statement said.

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