Source: Queensland Resources Council
Today's decision by the Land Court to uphold government approvals for the Alpha coal project represents a milestone for Queensland's economic future.Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche congratulated developers GVK Hancock for their unswerving focus on the potential of the Alpha project to kick-start one of the most significant regional developments in the state's history.
'The Alpha project is a long-term commitment to Queensland that will generate an estimated 7,500 jobs during construction, almost 4,000 operational positions and around $40 billion in royalties and taxes during its lifetime,' Mr Roche said.'This kind of economic development is a game changer for the central west in addressing a long-term decline in the region's fortunes.
'Access to electricity is also acknowledged as a key to alleviating poverty and the Galilee is poised to play a role in providing affordable energy with the lowest possible carbon footprint.'According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 18 per cent of the world's population have no access to electricity at all and 38 per cent are dependent on wood, crop residues and animal waste as their main cooking and heating fuels.
Mr Roche said the Land Court challenges dismissed today were instigated by the 'usual suspects' including anti-coal movement activists and a resident of Canberra.'Genuine community concerns should and can be given voice at the Environmental Impact Statement stage of a project's regulatory process, rather than resorting to expensive and long-winded Land Court objections at the end of the process,' he said.
The stalling of projects through litigation was a strategy exposed in the anti-coal movement's strategy document Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom leaked to media in March 2012.'Lots of objections and no solutions is the mantra of the anti-coal activists who place more value on feeling good about themselves than dealing with real problems in the real world,' Mr Roche said.