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Australia has blocked the proposed Central Queensland Coal Project near the Great Barrier Reef, citing environmental concerns, reported Bloomberg News.

Australian Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek announced the final decision on the project on Twitter.

This decision has been made under the country’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Plibersek said she got more than 9,000 public submissions on the proposed coal mine in ten business days.

In a video post, she said: “I’ve decided that the adverse environmental impacts are simply too great.

“The mine is an open-cut coal mine less than 10km from the Great Barrier Reef, and the risk of pollution and irreversible damage to the reef is very real.”

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By GlobalData

Private mining company Central Queensland Coal was proposing to construct and operate the proposed coal mine project 130km north-west of Rockhampton, central Queensland.

The project aimed to extract up to ten million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of thermal and coking coal for 20-25 years.

Commenting on the decision, Australian Conservation Foundation climate and energy campaigner Jaclyn McCosker said: “This is a great decision from Tanya Plibersek and the first time a federal environment minister has rejected a coal mine under Australia’s environmental law.

“This is a win for the community that has campaigned to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the climate and local industries that depend on a healthy reef.

“It would have extracted up to 18 million tonnes of coal per year for burning here and overseas, fuelling floods, droughts, and the marine heatwaves that bleach coral reefs.”