The Queensland Resources Council has bashed a proposed bill to ban coal mining in the Galilee Basin, calling it an “act of self-sabotage”.
A proposed bill to ban coal mining in Australia’s Galilee Basin has ruffled the feathers of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), with the council’s chief executive calling it out as an “act of self-sabotage”.
In a statement released Friday, QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition Bill), currently under review in Australia’s federal senate, would have little impact on global coal consumption and would instead cause the loss of local jobs.
“This bill doesn’t stack up. It would be little more than an act of self-sabotage which would cost Queenslanders their jobs for no reason and for no reduction in the global use of coal,” Macfarlane said.
“The global demand for coal is strong, and coal is forecast to remain at about 40 percent of total power generation in the Asia Pacific by the year 2040 under a scenario modelled by the International Energy Agency.”
According to Macfarlane, the bill would prove to be counterproductive on the basis that other countries would utilize lower quality coal to meet demand, leading to higher emissions. He also said the ban on Galilee Basin coal mining would see the loss of an “enormous economic opportunity” for Central and North Queensland.
“Figures from the office of the chief economist in Canberra show that if the six major coal projects in the Galilee Basin were to proceed that would support 18,275 jobs in construction,” Macfarlane said.
“On top of that QRC estimates that even if just a quarter of the coal capacity in the Galilee was developed that would add up to $290 million in royalty taxes paid to the Queensland Government each year.”
Protesting the proposed bill alongside the QRC is the Minerals Council of Australia, with CEO Tania Constable raising similar points as Macfarlane in a statement released Friday.
“When Australia’s global competitiveness as a destination for mining investment is already under threat, this bill would further damage Australia’s investment attractiveness and create significant sovereign risk,” Constable said.
“The bill undermines rigorous and thorough approvals processes at both state and Commonwealth level with which all major mining projects must comply. Banning coal mining in the Galilee Basin will do nothing to reduce emissions.”
Adani Mining’s Carmichael project is one of the proposed Galilee Basin coal mines to be in the spotlight as of late, with parent company Adani Group (BSE:512599,NSE:ADANIENT) stating in late November it would finance the project in full. First-stage production is set to produce 27.5 million tonnes of coal each year and, with an accompanying rail line planned, initial ramp-up and construction is expected to create over 1,500 jobs.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.