Australia blocks coal mine to protect Great Barrier Reef – by Tiffanie Turnbull ( – February 8, 2023)

For the first time in history, Australia has blocked the creation of a coal mine under environmental laws. The government on Thursday rejected a proposal for a new mine about 10km (6.2 miles) from the Great Barrier Reef.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the project posed an unacceptable risk to the World Heritage area, which is already highly vulnerable. The mine’s owner, the controversial Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, has not yet responded to the rejection.

His firm, Central Queensland Coal, had proposed to build an open-cut mine about 700km north-west of Brisbane, that would produce both thermal and coking coal and operate for about 20 years.

Ms Plibersek had last year flagged that the federal government might block the mine. After opening it to public consideration, her department received more than 9,000 submissions in 10 days – the majority calling for the project to be stopped.

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