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  • Coral not coal protest at India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Visit to Australia. April 1, 2016.

    Coral not coal protest at India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Visit to Australia. April 1, 2016. | Photo: Photo: Takver. flickr.com/photos/takver/25561759184

Published 4 February 2018

Activists say the mine and its rail will be an environmental disaster for the greatest barrier reef in the world, as well as inland Australia.

Indian mining company Adani's branch in Australia is building one of the biggest coal mines in the world and it needs a rail link to its port in Queensland, but the Australian government has called off its financial support for it today.

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The project has been going on for years amid environmental protests, legal battles and policy controversies, as the US$16 billion mine is near the Great Barrier Reef, and the financing cancellation is a major set back for the company.

The Queensland Labor government is against the 189 kilometers rail, and it is up to them if they support the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) to finance it.

Karen Andrews, from the Liberal Party, has stated the Labor government won't support the rail, and that instructions from the resources minister is that “the financing will not proceed,” but she hopes the project will succeed.

“Is actually very, very important for employment and jobs in the northern part of Australia,” said Andrews.

But reality points in another direction, as climate change is a growing threat and investments are driving away from fossil fuels.

Environmental activists fear the mine will damage the greatest barrier reef in the world, listed as World Heritage by the UNESCO. Besides, the whole mine would damage 28,000 hectares of land, removing most of the vegetation. Also, it would drain up to 9.5 billion liters of water a year.

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