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New Coal Mine Disaster for Tasmania?

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 29 September 2022

Tags: Coal, Climate Change, Hydrogen, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The proposed new coal mine for Fingal is a looming Tasmanian climate disaster. It would have major consequences for the island’s brand, economy, and future green industry development.

Many Tasmanians will be confronted by revelations another mainlander is making big promises to build a new coal mine on this beautiful island.

Disturbingly, in Parliament today, the Rockliff Government failed to rule out support for the black hydrogen project.  

In a ludicrous attempt at greenwashing, the coal mine proponent has claimed the entire process will be “zero emissions”, and the end product will be “green hydrogen”.

This is despite overwhelming scientific evidence of the climate impact of simply digging up coal, and the subsequent release of massive quantities of methane.

What we’re looking at here is a black hydrogen project that could damage our green hydrogen future. If it goes ahead, this black hydrogen operation will also undermine the international reputation of Tasmania’s prospective green hydrogen industry.

This mine would hurt Tasmania’s hard-won clean, green, and climate positive brand – one that’s relied upon by primary producers, tourism operators, hospitality venues, and other small businesses.  

The Greens gave both the Premier and the Minister for Energy an opportunity to put their opposition on the record. Rather than reassuring Tasmanians, they appeared to imply possible support – including taxpayer funds – for this greenwashed, climate disaster.”

This is a plan to produce black hydrogen, plain and simple. Confirming to Parliament there’ll be no access for the proponent to government support of any kind should be a no-brainer.

The Premier has a range of options to halt this proposal, including refusing to renew the project’s mining lease when it expires in 2023. Other options include refusing to carry the coal on publicly-owned railways, refusing support for further approvals or extensions, and stopping the proponent from accessing state-owned infrastructure at Bell Bay.