A group of young Queenslanders are challenging one of billionaire Clive Palmer’s companies to try to block a proposed Galilee Basin coal project on the grounds that it is a human rights violation.
The environment group says allowing the project to go ahead would infringe its rights because it will contribute to a global climate crisis.
“The human rights of my generation are threatened by coal mines that drive climate change and cause prolonged droughts, intense heatwaves, more frequent floods and deadlier bushfires,” Youth Verdict co-founder Mel McAuliffe said.
“We deserve a safe future but Clive Palmer’s coal mine puts that at risk.”
Young climate activists vs Clive Palmer – Hack https://t.co/SrqGjNzUsO
— David Morris (@djmor6) May 13, 2020
Waratah Coal claims to be the largest tenement holder in the Galilee Basin. It has more than 10,000 square kilometres of tenements, including 15 coal exploration permits, one mineral development licence and two mining lease applications.
Its proposed Galilee Coal Project consists of two open-cut mines, four underground long-wall mining operations, coal-handling preparation plants and a railway line to the Abbot Point coal port, north of Bowen.
It would initially mine 10 million tonnes of coal a year before increasing to 56 million tonnes several years later.
Youth Verdict is joining forces with the Bimblebox Alliance, which has been pursuing legal action in the Queensland Land Court.
The alliance said the mining project was a threat to the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, an almost 8000 hectare and largely uncleared property that balances sustainable grazing and high conservation.
— Youth Verdict (@youthverdict) May 13, 2020
Objections to the granting of approval for a mining lease and environmental authority applications is being brought by the Environmental Defenders Office.
It said the mining project and its operations would cause significant adverse environmental, social and economic impacts if it went ahead.
“Our clients are using the Queensland Human Rights Act, exactly as it was intended to be used, to allow Queenslanders to stand up for their human rights,” Environmental Defenders Office chief executive David Morris said.
“They have the right to a safe and healthy future and to be able to make genuine choices about their lives.
“Climate change limits those choices.”