News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Newcastle coal port bidder breaches pollution licence conditions; MMG boss Andrew Michelmore prefers quality assets; and climate hope in China coal turnaround, says Garnaut.

Lou Caruana

Newcastle coal port bidder accused of treating pollution limits as ‘optional’

The main proponent of a major expansion of Newcastle’s coal exports has breached its pollution licence conditions 75 times in the past three years, according to documents obtained by the Nature Conservation Council, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Port Waratah Coal Services, which operates two of the city’s three coal terminals and wants to build a fourth, has exceeded wastewater release limits at a sewage treatment plant 27 times since mid-2011. One release, of as much 25.2 million litres, was more than eight times the daily limit of 3 million litres.

A separate site at Carrington breached its daily limit of releases of total suspended solids set at 50 milligrams per litre on 48 occasions, the council said.

MMG boss Andrew Michelmore prefers quality assets

Andrew Michelmore, the boss of Chinese-owned MMG, says the suite of assets the mining majors have up for sale are of no appeal, even if they can be picked up on the cheap, according to the Australian Financial Review.

“The ones [the majors] tend to want to sell are the ones that they don’t want or don’t see value in,” the Melbourne-based Michelmore said.

“We’ve looked at a number of them for the past few years – they’ve been running this process for almost three years. We’ve looked at them but we haven’t found one [we would want].”

Climate hope in China coal turnaround, says Garnaut

Climate policy expert Ross Garnaut says the international goal of halting global warming at 2C is now within reach because China has slowed the growth of its coal use, despite continuing to economically develop, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In a speech at the University of Melbourne on Monday night, Garnaut said the fall in the emissions intensity of Chinese economic growth was the result of new development policies pursued by Beijing over the past six years, which could serve as a model for other developing nations.

United Nations countries, including China and Australia, have agreed to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels, which scientists believe would avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Countries will meet in Paris next year to try reach a new global agreement to help meet this goal.