Summit counters most challenging campaigns
ADANI, GVK Hancock, Waratah Coal, Q Coal and the Minerals Council of Australia, are all agreed there’s an impact on the resources industry from “anti-mining” campaigns.
At last week’s Major Projects Summit in Bowen, GVK Hancock spokesperson Josh Euler talked about the court challenges to the Alpha Coal project.
Standing in front of a projected slide that showed the project hadn’t advanced much in the last year, he explained why this was the case.
He said the project had gone to the Land Court in 2013, with the outcome then taken to the Supreme Court and now Court of Appeals “by anti-mining groups”.
“So as you can see, time and time again, we have it go into court, come out successfully, and come back in again,” he said.
“It’s a real challenge for our project.”
“You kind of wonder, when the Alpha Coal project was nominated a project of State significance, in 2008, what that really means.”
And Mr Euler, who stated passionately that the expansion of Abbot Point would not hurt the Great Barrier Reef, had his own theories on why these “campaigns of misinformation” were ongoing, pointing to the donations made to campaigns like the “Fight for the Reef”.
“So I ask you, if that’s the kind of money you can pull in from running a PR campaign, would you ever stop?” was the question he posed to the 160 people in the room.
“The answer is no. This won’t stop.”
Mr Euler told his industry cohorts it was important to combat these campaigns by continuing to be factual, saying the activists’ tended to over-reach “and that’s one of their weaknesses”.
Despite all this, he ended his speech on a high note.
“We really have to be proud of our actions – look at what we’re achieving,” he said.
“The development of the Galilee Basin truly is one of the most significant pieces of regional and economic development our state has seen for decades.
“We’re going to get there – it’s a huge challenge but we are 100% behind it and we’ll get there in the end.”
GIVING ADVICE: GVK Hancock spokesperson Josh Euler talking about “misinformation campaigns”.