BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Broadmeadow underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin.
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Broadmeadow underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin.

Eight councils back Galilee Basin mining

EIGHT North West Queensland councils want mining to happen in the Galilee Basin - home to Adani's planned Carmichael coal mine.

Greg Hoffman, executive officer of the North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, which represents Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Doomadgee, Flinders, McKinlay, Mount Isa and Richmond, said mining was vital to the region.

"The eight councils of the North West Queensland ROC straddle the North West Minerals Province, they live with and support appropriate mining of our resources in an environmentally and socially responsible way," he said.

Hughenden, which is part of Flinders Shire Council, straddles the Galilee Basin.

Mr Hoffman said the resources sector was a major employer and significant part of many of its councils.

"We are regularly in discussions with the government about the resources sector," he said.

The organisation has spoken out after making a submission to a State Government inquiry into a Greens bill which wants to ban coal mining in the area.

Mr Hoffman said the organisation saw the proposed law as "duplicitous" as there was coal mining in places like the Bowen and Surat Basins.

"While coal continues to be mined worldwide and used to generate electricity and in steel production it is counter intuitive to ban its mining and export from one basin in Australia, particularly when Queensland coal less environmental downside than that mined overseas," he wrote in his submission.

Adani's mine has been delayed by an review ordered by the State Government into the mine owner's management plan for the black throated finch.

Mr Hoffman said the organisation supported "rigorous environmental controls and conditions" on any mining approval including coal regardless of where it was mined.

"Subject to world leading regulatory standards being imposed coal mining should be permitted in any basin," he said.

"Indeed, it is duplicitous to seek the banning of coal mining in one basin and not others if the same environmental standards and controls are imposed across all of them."

Charters Towers Regional Council, which has a small part of the Galilee Basin within it was also against any ban.

CEO Aaron Johansson said it represented a "key resource area" for the community.

"Should such an amendment be passed through the parliament, such an outcome would have adverse economic and social impacts for the region and be unacceptable," he wrote in his submission.

"As such council do not support the proposed bill and remain supportive of sustainable exploration and extraction of coal into the future."

Maiwar MP Michael Berkman has put the bill to the Queensland parliament.

He said it was about addressing climate change. "This step is completely justified in the face of the overwhelming risk to human safety and the risk of catastrophic global warming without immediate action," Mr Berkman said when introducing the bill.