Coal has been strongly mined in Australia for many years and while it has been a strong contributor to the economy in the past, however, when the environmental damage is now considered the positive contribution needs to be down written quite considerably. There are many health issues that seem to be connected to coal dust, while not always admitted to there is clear evidence that there is a greater incident of lung disease along coal transport corridors and processing facilities. Coal processing uses a lot of water that reduces the amount of water available to farming and other uses.
Expansion of the coal industry must begin to slow down in the very near future.
Environmental impact statements must include end use preparedness issues.
Coal dust must be managed better with all transported coal loads covered and the bottom doors on coal carriages must prevent spillage in transport.
Water used on mine sites must be recycled water as fresh water has other more important uses that recycled water might not be appropriate.
Passenger services will again have priority over coal transport on the railway lines.
All mines must pay an environmental bond to cover the estimated cost of agreed end use rehabilitation costs. This bond will not be available to the mine for use until the site is fully rehabilitated to an acceptable standard.
Farming will have priority over mining when it comes to land uses.