New research released today by The Australia Institute finds that a coal project proposed near Kingaroy, Queensland, should be rejected by policy makers on economic grounds.
The report finds that the project is unlikely to be economically viable, faces huge barriers in getting coal to market and would adversely impact key local industries.
“The Kingaroy economy is focused on services and agriculture. A major coal project would work against existing industries and the local government’s stated plans for the future,” research director at The Australia Institute and co-author of the report Rod Campbell said.
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“While there is a coal-fired power station nearby, it owns its own coal mine and has publicly stated that it does not need coal from other mines for ‘many more years’.
“For this new project to get coal to other markets it would need to build a rail link. This could cost $1 billion and also displace recently built tourism infrastructure.
“As renewable energy gets cheaper and coal demand declines, new coal mine proposals are just not economic.
“Even projects with the backing of large corporations like Adani and Glencore’s Wandoan mine have stalled. A project proposed by a small company with a history of environmental and tax problems has very little chance of proceeding.
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“Policy makers should rule out the project due to the low likelihood of economic benefit, potential environmental and economic risks and the costs associated with ongoing uncertainty for the community.”
The report comes two months after a mineral development licence, held by Moreton Resources, was renewed.
Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group, which opposes the mine, said in a Facebook post they are seeking an explanation as to how the application met the criteria for re-approval.