QRC Defends Mining in Coal-rich Galilee Basin Once Again

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has once again spoken out against a proposed bill to ban mining in the state’s Galilee Basin.

According to a statement from the QRC, the council has “identified … deep flaws” in the newly proposed Mineral Resources (Galilee Basin) Amendment Bill (Qld), which is currently being reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

“This is the Greens’ anti-resources tantrum 2.0,” QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said in the statement. “Much like the similarly flawed bill before the Senate in the Federal Parliament, this proposal is counterproductive and counter to common sense.”

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The outcry comes just a month after a similar bill, the Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition Bill),was put forward to ban mining in the Australian hotspot. The bill, which is still currently under review in Australia’s federal Senate, had both the QRC and Minerals Council of Australia up in arms over local job losses that would allegedly stem from the ban.

In the statement released Wednesday (February 6), Macfarlane reiterated the council’s stance on the potential mining ban, highlighting issues surrounding job losses and minimal impact towards environmental initiatives.

“Not only would it fail to have any impact on changing global temperatures — its stated intention — but its anti-resources agenda would also risk the jobs of the 316,000 Queenslanders who work in the industry and leave the Queensland budget in tatters,” he said.

“Figures from the Office of the Chief Economist’s December update showed that if the six major coal projects in the Galilee Basin were to proceed they would create 13,900 construction jobs and 12,803 jobs during operations.”

The chief executive went on to add that coal still has strong global demand and is expected to continue supplying about 40 percent of total power generation in the Asia Pacific by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.

“If the Greens’ bid to ban coal in Queensland was successful that would simply mean the demand for coal would be met from other countries with lower quality coal, which would in turn lead to higher emissions. Meanwhile, Queenslanders would miss out on the returns from royalty taxes which pay for teachers, nurses and police,” Macfarlane added.

Mining in the Galilee Basin has proven to be a point of contention between resource companies and environmentalist groups over the last several years. While the latter have continuously voiced opposition on the basis of environmental impact, the Basin is considered to be one of the largest untapped coal reserves in the world.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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