Submissions open until 18 June on Whitehaven Coal’s proposed Winchester South Coal Project in the Bowen Basin.
Make your own submission using our online tool or the templates below.
Whitehaven Coal’s plan to build an open-cut metallurgical coal mine aiming to produce approximately 8mtpa of coal over approximately 30 years is now open for public comment.
The mine will be located approximately 30km southeast of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin and is estimated to produce approximately 750 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in its lifetime.
The Project has been referred to the Federal Government in three separate applications for the mine site and access road, associated water supply pipeline and associated electricity transmission line. You can read about each component in detail in the hyperlinked referral documents.
The Federal Government will be making a decision as to how the Project will be assessed before it is either rejected or approved.
They will decide this based on whether or not they think that the Project is likely to have a “significant impact” on a Matter of National Environmental Significance under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Qld), such as the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
In making this decision, the Federal Government is required to consider both the referrals and any public comments.
The Environmental Defenders Office Qld has been asked to help clients interested in making a public comment for the Project on climate change grounds.
Our clients have expressed concerns that the approval of any new fossil fuel project risks worsening the impacts of climate change globally and in Australia, including impacts on the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef.
In response to these concerns, we have created this draft submission tool (which combines all three referrals) for any concerned person or organisation to make a public comment towards the Project. The draft expresses that:
- based on up-to-date climate science, the cumulative impacts of the Project are clearly unacceptable;
- the piecemeal referral of the larger project should be rejected; or
- or, at the very least, each referral should be subject to a full Environmental Impact Statement assessment so that the public can be properly informed regarding the cumulative impacts of the Project.
Please note that the effectiveness of your submission would be significantly increased if you make amendments to our draft and add your own opinions (See our guidelines for effective submissions here).
Submissions are due 18 June, however we highly recommend that you get your submission in as soon as possible to ensure your concerns are taken into consideration.