Isn’t the expansion of ports in Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone good for regional Queensland?
The exponential increase in shipping through the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is likely to lead to more groundings and oil spills in these protected waters.
The expansion of ports to support coal and CSG will also impact the waters and seagrass beds of the Great Barrier Reef. Protected mangroves will be cleared, coral reefs and seabeds dredged and nationally significant wetlands degraded.
The mining industry is exempt from Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act and companies have already begun widespread tree clearing.
Much, much more will be required for pipelines and new rail lines, endangering a host of protected flora and fauna.
Wouldn’t it be crazy to say no to mining royalties and export income?
The Queensland Resources Council and the Queensland government like to talk up the benefits of mining and gas projects but we should assess their claims objectively.
The mining industry says it will generate $50 billion for Queensland but its activities require new rail lines, additional port facilities, dams to provide water to wash the coal and additional government services for enlarged workforces in regional areas. This is all paid for by taxpayers.
The Queensland government boasts of its Coal Infrastructure Program of Action which will alone provide $25.5 billion worth of free services to the mining industry. This should be deducted from any claims of income generation.
Public money should be spent on public services like health, education and transport services — not on massive corporate welfare!