Help stop the ‘unstoppable’ coal giants
Work has already begun on Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal Project in NSW’s Leard State Forest. Current mines have open-cut close to 1,000 hectares and existing proposals would see this area increased to at least 5,000ha. In the tiny community of Maules Creek, though, farmers complain of falling water tables and the indigenous Gameroi people say the company will be bulldozing burial sites. And growing numbers are camping out in protest against the mine’s environmental impact on the state forest.
Leard State Forest is classified as a biodiversity hotspot and provides an important home to hundreds of plants and animals including 34 threatened species such as the koala. If the Maules Creek mine – the biggest coal mine currently under construction in Australia – is allowed to go ahead it will reduce the water table by up to 7 metres, pour thousands of tonnes of harmful coal dust onto surrounding communities and produce 30 million tonnes of carbon pollution per year.
What happens if the mining goes ahead?
There are already two mines operating nearby, Boggabri Coal and Tarrawonga. The Maules Creek Project would be the third mine and the largest, with some devastating effects for local communities and the planet. Coal mines like Maules Creek require millions of litres of water to function. The mine would deplete what’s left of the water table, putting already struggling farmers under further stress.
Scientists have said that, in order to keep global warming below 2ºC, carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere must peak in 2016 and then decline by 2.7% every year after that. Australia has recommitted to its promise to a 2ºC limit, yet the expansion of the coal-export industry is incompatible with this commitment.
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How you can help
Forest clearing has just begun to make way for access roads and rail lines into the area.
Around the world, individuals and communities are joining together to oppose fossil fuel projects. From openly calling for sit-ins and getting arrested (Keystone XL movement, Canada and the US), to denying fossil fuel companies access to land (Lock the Gate, Australia), and to tackling coal-mine expansion…” – Point of No Return Report by Greenpeace.