Sum­mit coun­ters most chal­leng­ing cam­paigns

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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”.

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