Australia's environment minister on Wednesday declined to grant permission for a new thermal coal project owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer near the Great Barrier Reef.
Central Queensland Coal planned to produce 40 million tonnes a year of thermal coal in Queensland state's Galilee Basin, a coal region opened up by the development of the Carmichael thermal coal mine, operated by the Indian company Adani, in 2021.
Negative impact on the environment
A state land court already recommended last November the project not go ahead on the grounds that its emissions would contribute to climate change and harm human rights.
"I've decided that the adverse environmental impacts are simply too great," Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said in a video posted to social media.
"The mine is an open-cut coal mine less than 10 km from the Great Barrier Reef, and the risk of pollution and irreversible damage to the reef is very real."
Plibersek said her office received 9,000 public submissions on the issue in ten business days.
Central Queensland Coal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Environmental experts say the UNESCO world heritage-listed reef, the world's biggest coral reef ecosystem, is suffering from the significant impact of climate change and the warming of oceans.