The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed Societe Generale’s decision to withdraw involvement in the Alpha coal mine, putting investment in port and rail infrastructure at Abbot Point in doubt.
Felicity Wishart, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said a lack of investor confidence in this and other port expansions is growing because they won’t make money and they risk damaging the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
“Major financial institutions have distanced themselves from this controversial port expansion because investing in such a poorly-conceived project in the middle of one of the wonders of the world does not represent good sense,” Ms Wishart said.
“Despite the clear signals from the international finance community, the state and federal government are still trying to fast track decisions to dredge the Reef’s waters and dump it on sensitive wetlands at Abbot Point.
“The State Government should stop using taxpayer’s money to fund these projects that the big banks won’t touch.
“And it’s time that Australia’s four big banks also rejected investment in the Abbot Point expansion.
“The project may well become a huge white elephant.
“The existing port is not currently operating at full capacity and there are serious questions about whether the Galilee Basin coal mines that are driving the port expansion will ever be built.
“The last thing we should do is risk the Great Barrier Reef for an industry with such an uncertain future.
“Australian banks should heed the decisions of these international banks and undertake to not invest in port expansion and dredging or dumping anywhere in the Reef’s waters, including at Abbot Point,” Ms Wishart concluded.