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Australia, in a Victory for Coal, Clears the Way for a Disputed Mine

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“Climate change is the greatest threat to our reef’s future and we cannot risk opening up the Galilee Basin for other major coal projects which would heat our oceans and lead to more stress on our beautiful corals and reef,” the conservation society said in a statement.

The project had initially received support from both major parties at the state and federal levels, but the left-of-center Labor Party, which controls Queensland, later expressed doubts. The fate of the mine then became a point of contention between the country’s major parties in the lead-up to the May election, a test of what Australian lawmakers were willing to do to address climate change amid a year of unrelenting heat, drought and storms.

Ultimately, Australians re-elected the champions of coal, a right-of-center coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party, helped by a surge of support in rural, coal-producing Queensland.

The site, to be known as the Carmichael mine, sits near a vast aquifer and a natural spring called Doongmabulla, which is sacred to Indigenous people in the area. How the company would manage the groundwater was the last question for Queensland environmental regulators. Two weeks ago, state regulators approved the penultimate environmental clearance, over the fate of a rare bird.

shocked no way GIF

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