Save the Dawson group members with a survey about the Baralaba coal mine proposal that was distributed to the local community.
Save the Dawson group members with a survey about the Baralaba coal mine proposal that was distributed to the local community.

$100 trillion expulsion for CQ coal mine company before UN

The United Nations is reportedly considering expelling global insurance giant Liberty Mutual from its $100 trillion Principles for Responsible Investment initiative after a complaint about its alleged involvement in Baralaba South coal mine plans in CQ.

Community group Save the Dawson has lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations UN over the mine, which has been elevated to the Principles for Responsible Investment UNPRI board to consider.

The proposed mine, on the banks of the Dawson River, would be located 8km south of Baralaba, about 115km southwest of Rockhampton.

The site of the proposed Baralaba south coal mine.
The site of the proposed Baralaba south coal mine.

The Queensland Government states the open cut mine, which will extract up to 5 million tonnes of coal per year, has an estimated life of 19 years, will employ about 275 people during construction and 600 people during operation.

The Baralaba south mine proposal comes after Liberty Mutual refused to insure the Carmichael coal mine operated in CQ by Bravus.

The UNPRI is a network of companies that aims to promote responsible investing.

Liberty Mutual, owner of the Mount Ramsay Coal Company, is undertaking environmental impact studies, the third in a six-step approval process required by the state and federal governments before the mine is approved.

Save the Dawson group chair, local grazier Brett Coombe explained reasons behind the group’s opposition to the mine.

“We are opposed to this mine because it is proposed on prime agricultural land, on a flood-plain, 500 metres from the Dawson River,” he said.

“If this mine proceeds it would (allegedly) permanently destroy several thousand hectares of strategic cropping land, risk contamination and depletion of our drinking water supplies, and would (allegedly) leave a toxic final void on the flood-plain permanently post-mining.

“We’d like to see the UNPRI uphold its Serious Violations of the Principles policy, and to engage with Liberty Mutual to ensure it abandons this project.

“If Liberty refuses to respect the will of the local community and the Principles of the UNPRI, then we think it’s appropriate that they are removed from that initiative.”

Negative impacts of the proposed mine highlighted in the complaint to the UN include; contamination and depletion of Baralaba and Woorabinda drinking water supplies, permanent destruction of thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land, severe ecological and environmental impacts on the local area and the Great Barrier Reef.

The site of the proposed Baralaba south coal mine in flood, which community group Save the Dawson says illustrates a potential environmental disaster if the mine is approved.
The site of the proposed Baralaba south coal mine in flood, which community group Save the Dawson says illustrates a potential environmental disaster if the mine is approved.

Save the Dawson group member Paul Stephenson said the group was calling on the UNPRI to uphold it’s Serious Violations of the Principles policy, to review the involvement of Liberty Mutual.

“We don’t believe it is appropriate for Liberty Mutual to remain a signatory to the UNPRI while it progresses the Baralaba South coal mine.

“Liberty Mutual’s actions cast doubt on its genuine commitment to the Principles of Responsible Investment.”

The UNPRI board will make the final decision on the fate of the American insurance company’s involvement in the initiative.

“This complaint (from the community group) will now be dealt with and will go through our internal process,” UNPRI chief executive Fiona Reynolds told Reuters.

“Ultimately, a complaint is directed to the PRI Board of Directors and may result in the removal of a signatory.”

Liberty Mutual has been contacted for comment.

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