The state government has approved the Shenhua coal mine in the Liverpool Plains, which is perhaps the most productive agricultural land in the country (1). At the same time, the Chinese government plans to halt coal mining approvals in its country and close a thousand mines that are already in production (2). Bob Hawkes 1988 wish that we should become a clever country has clearly not eventuated (3).
(1) Hannam, Peter, ‘Giant Shenhua Watermark Coal Mine in the Liverpool Plains Approved’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 January 2015 <http://www.smh.com.au/environment/giant-shenhua-watermark-coal-mine-in-the-liverpool-plains-approved-20150129-1317wh.html> [accessed 5 January 2016]
(2) ‘China to Halt New Coal Mine Approvals Amid Pollution Fight – Bloomberg Business’, Blumberg News, 30 December 2015 <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-30/china-to-suspend-new-coal-mine-approvals-amid-pollution-fight> [accessed 5 January 2016]
(3) ‘TFGA :: More than 25 Years after “the Clever Country” Little Has Changed’, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association., 2 July 2012 <http://www.tfga.com.au/in-the-news/ceo/more-25-years-after-clever-country-little-has-changed/> [accessed 5 January 2016]