The Chair of Whitehaven Coal, former Nationals leader Mark Vaille, was asked an interesting question at the AGM this week. Ava Princi, one of the Sharma vs the Minister for the Environment case litigants, asked him to explain why the company was going ahead with the Vickery coal mine when the federal court had found that
“a reasonable person in the position of the Minister would foresee that, by reason of the (Vickery) Project’s effect on increased C02 in the Earth’s atmosphere and the consequential increase in global surface temperatures, each of the Children is exposed to a risk of death or other personal injury.”
Ava asked whether Mark Vaille would apologise to young people for risking their futures.
Mark Vaille’s response was along the lines that the court case wasn’t relevant to him or the company because Sussan Ley had approved the mine and she disagreed with the court’s findings. Mr Vaille added that Whitehaven is moving ahead with the project, which will extract 158 million tonnes of coal over 25 years.
Sydney Nannas attended the online meeting and had a few comments:
Nanna Bron: A robot would have shown more emotion than Mark Vaile when he answered Ava’s question about the Sharma vs Minister for the Environment court case.
Nanna Anne: It seems that Whitehaven is just as good as the government at doublespeak…not sure how they are going to double their coal output and at the same time comply with net zero 2050 targets.”
Nanna Marie: I was expecting spin, but really! I thought of the Mad Hatter “A land was full of wonder, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.”
Clare: It is incomprehensible that they can propose to mine more than double their coal production and claim to be paying attention to the climate emergency. They are MAKING the climate emergency!