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BOOM Goes the Reef

Greenpeace, March 2012

Australia’s coal export boom and the industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef

Australia is on the verge of an unprecedented coal boom. The epicentre of this expansion is the yet to be developed Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. Galilee is the proposed site for a series of mega mines that will cause Australia’s coal exports to more than double within a decade. The creation of mega mines in Central Queensland, the accompanying export infrastructure and increases in shipping traffic, as well as the burning of the coal they produce, place an incredible burden on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef is already causing alarm. Approvals for new gas processing plants on Curtis Island off Gladstone in 2011 prompted a stinging rebuke from United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) – the UN body charged with protecting World Heritage Areas. UNESCO is sending a team to Australia this March to assess the potential impact of all development projects on the World Heritage Area.

Click here to download the report. (Not small: 4mb file)