Queensland Government approves Winchester South coal mine

On 24 November 2023, Whitehaven’s Winchester South Coal Mine was approved by the Queensland Government.

The Australia Institute has long been critical of the economic case for opening Winchester South. In 2021 and 2022, the Australia Institute made submissions criticising its economic assessment’s failure to consider the impact of climate action on the coal market, and the Environmental Impact Statement’s use of inappropriate estimates of carbon costs. There is no economic case for opening new coal.

And yet, this state approval could see the project operate until 2050, producing 631 million tonnes of emissions over its lifetime.

If Australia is serious about achieving its emissions reduction targets, then there is one final opportunity to stop this mine from going ahead: Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek can intervene to prevent its approval at the federal level.