Release: Tyrannical Bureaucrats Must Stop Blocking Coal Mines

2/10/2019

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, a 75,000+ member grassroots advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today called on the NSW government to pass legislation which prevents courts and planning bodies like the NSW Independent Planning Commission from blocking mines and projects on climate change grounds alone.

"It's a travesty that judges and tyrannical commissioners are exceeding their mandate by blocking projects that create jobs, deliver immense economic benefits to NSW, and support the human development of millions of people in the developing world who need cheap and affordable electricity." said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy.

"Climate change policy and meeting our obligations under the Paris Agreement are the responsibility of state and federal governments, not of unelected bureaucrats or activist judges.

"That the NSW Independent Planning Commission imposed conditions on the United Wambo mine in Singleton that prevent its coal from being exported to many countries is also an undue and inexcusable intervention in Australia's international relations.

"Decisions like this, and the NSW Land and Environment Court's recent decision to block the Bywong coal mine, could deny millions of people an affordable source of electricity. Effectively blocking Australian coal exports will also force them to use coal harvested in their own countries which is mined under dangerous conditions, causes deaths due to air-borne pollution, and is even more emissions-intensive to use than Australian coal.

"Given that Australia accounts for a paltry 1.3% of global emissions, and that countries denied Australian coal will simply replace it with coal from elsewhere, blocking these projects will also make zero material difference to climate change.

"Passing sensible legislation will ensure that judges and commissioners stay in their lane by preventing them from taking into account considerations which are entirely inappropriate and are already accounted for by multiple levels of government. 

"The NSW government should not cave in to the bullying of busybody inner-city activists. We call on NSW to pass legislation that prevents the blocking of projects on climate change or emissions grounds alone before our families and workers are denied opportunities, and the state is denied royalty revenues, from more projects."

Satyajeet Marar