However, the criticisms of the project do not end here. In order to be transported to India, where it will supply low-cost energy to around 100 million Indians , Australian coal will have to be transported by sea. This involves the construction of a 189-kilometer railway network that connects the Carmichael Mine to the industrial port of Abbott Point, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But it is not this need to ignite the debate, but the fact that the many cargo ships will inevitably have to pass over the Great Barrier Reef , the largest in the world and a World Heritage Site since 1981, already at risk in the opinion of many experts. The complex structure composed of microorganisms,
in fact, could be irreparably damaged by the passage of another 450 transport vessels per year, in addition to those already operating in the region. Felicity Wishart , spokeswoman for the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said in this regard: ” There is a further, serious problem for the Great Barrier Reef. In addition to the Carmichael Mine, there are proposals to build more coal and natural gas mines in the region. This would lead to the transit of large transport vessels in the region between 4,000 and 7,000 a year “.
Furthermore, the problems related to the transport of coal also involve the port of Abbott Point . The structure is in fact currently unsuitable for such an intense activity and requires a substantial expansion which, in turn, would represent a risk for the delicate surrounding environment , above all because of the millions of cubic meters of heavy sediments that would settle on the seabed . The debate was also fueled by the decision of the banking giants Deutsche Bank and HSBC not to finance the expansion works of the port, considered harmful for their international reputation given the environmental implications involved in the operation.