The right to mine coal

AUSTRALIA should have the right to develop its natural resources to create employment and wealth creation for the nation under our existing laws. However, in a bizarre twist of logic, a Queensland group is claiming that allowing Clive Palmer to develop a coal mine is an abuse of their human rights.
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Palmer's Waratah Coal mine development in Queensland's Galilee Basin has received all state and federal approvals yet it may be stopped at the final hurdle by a Queensland Land Court case being brought by a group calling itself Youth Verdict.

In its objection lodged in the Land Court, Youth Verdict argues the proposed mine infringes on a number of its rights under the Queensland Human Rights Act, including the right to life, the protection of children and the right to culture.

A founder of Youth Verdict Mel McAuliffe said the group was making the legal objection because we were all facing a future that was increasingly uncertain, and that impacted our right to have a safe future.

"It means we won't have access to the same opportunities that generations before us have had," she told the ABC.

Hogsback agrees the younger generation will not have the same opportunities as their parents and their grandparents if they keep resorting to green lawfare to stymie the development of major projects that deliver economic growth, exports, and jobs.

This kind of fatuous legal objection may be ultimately dismissed, however, it shows the lengths environmental litigators will go to slow the approvals process.

This was demonstrated in the protracted application for Adani's Carmichael coal mine, which is also located in the Galilee Basin.

At last, Carmichael has been approved and the mine is being developed in a responsible and orderly manner.

The list of catastrophic events that were supposed to follow this mine were long and fanciful. Suddenly the black-throated finch became a national priority because its habitat was going to be affected by the new mine.

Adani has completed 15 surveys on the black-throated finch population on its mining lease area, with the last beginning in March.

In a recent speech to the Bowen Basin Mining Club, Adani Australia CEO Lucas Dow said the mine was an opportunity to keep jobs in Queensland producing high-quality, low-emission coal.

"We're all for democracy and people airing their opinions - but I'm committed to making sure the debate is based on facts, not on lies and mythology," he said.

Hogsback is hoping the next debate about the latest development in the Galilee Basin is also based on facts and not fanciful and irrelevant legal arguments designed to stall coal mining investment.