New coal terminal approval absolute madness in an era of climate change
MEDIA RELEASE – 1 October 2015
The Greens NSW have labelled the approval of the fourth coal export terminal at Newcastle by the Planning Assessment Commission as absolute madness in an era of climate change, and said if a terminal is built it is a prime candidate to be a white elephant.
Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said: “What madness to continue to expand coal exports in an era of climate change, in a sinking coal market, and when the world is moving away from coal”.
“The Baird government has its hands off the wheel and its head in the sand when it comes to coal. We have a sector in structural decline and shedding jobs, we have an ecological imperative to phase out coal, but what does the government do? Approve new coal terminals and new mines in our best farming areas. It’s absolute madness!”
Newcastle City Greens Councillor Michael Osborne said: “This approval ignores the impact expanding coal will have on the health of local residents and the wider issue of climate change.
“The Department of Planning should change its name to the Department of Approvals.
“At a time when much of the world, and Newcastle City itself is looking to divest from coal, the state government is moving backwards.”
Greens Environment and Ports spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi said: “The Port of Newcastle does not need this damaging terminal, which will likely become a white elephant if it is ever constructed.
“The government is being wilfully ignorant in approving millions of dollars worth of rail and port infrastructure for coal exports, while knowing full well the disastrous impacts it will have on climate change, human health, and the environment.”
“The destruction of important wetlands to make way for more coal is a terrible decision and reflects a government with the wrong priorities and no sense of ecologically sustainable development,” Dr Faruqi said.