CSG Development Decisions Expose Communities to Risk (Australia)
The revelations in today’s Courier Mail raise serious questions about whether coal seam gas development approvals in Queensland are made in a transparent and accountable manner, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Felicity Wishart, Campaign Director at the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said the fast-track of approvals for coal seam gas developments increased the likelihood of inadequate assessment of environmental impacts and their risk.
“The impact of coal seam gas development and infrastructure is one of the greatest threats facing the Great Barrier Reef, and the thriving tourism industry that relies on it,” Ms Wishart said.
These developments are being built in sensitive coastal areas, requiring dredging of seabed and seagrass, the breeding and feeding grounds for threatened species such as dugongs and turtles, to accommodate massive new LNG tankers.
“The Courier Mail report today highlights the special treatment of mining industry proposals at the cost of the environment and local communities,” Ms Wishart said.
“Mining approvals are being processed at a reckless pace, with less time for environmental assessment leading to a greater chance of mistakes being made in haste.
“The Reef is no place for fast-tracked, wide-scale industrialisation – mega-ports, dredging and a shipping superhighway allowing thousands of coal and LNG ships access through its waters.
“The Reef could be listed as World Heritage in danger unless both the Queensland and Federal governments take a more careful and cautious approach to development and infrastructure projects in the planning pipeline.
“The damage to our international reputation would be felt widely in the Queensland economy, and be difficult and costly to reverse.
“We call on the State Government to end the special treatment of the mining industry, and ensure the highest protection for the Reef and the local communities and tourism industry which rely on it,” she said.
Source: marineconservation, February 11, 2013