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As incredible as it might seem, according to an article published in the Jakarta Post, the Queensland's government (Australian) just recently authorized a mining development (coal mine) in the great coral reef.Coming from a country that likes to present itself as a beacon of humanity's conscience when it comes to health and environmental issues, this decision is, to say the least, quite astonishing! Australia, who sends vocal representatives to all international fora and gatherings on human health and environmental protection, has possibly just shown its true colours.To give just one example, all signatory states to the Rotterdam Convention, and especially those who attend its Conferences of Parties, have noted Australia's relentlessness in its efforts to obtain a worldwide ban of the use of chrysotile.Focusing on a narrow definition of health and environmental protection, this country's position totally disregards the very basic needs of emerging countries who are doing everything they can to improve their citizen's living conditions and for whom the chrysotile fibre is a mean with all the needed characteristics towards that end. Australia rejects the use of this affordable natural fibre for which it has been scientifically demonstrated that it can be used in a safe and responsible way.In greenlighting a coal extraction mining project in the heart of the coral reef, this country has just shown it's double standards to the world : when it comes to its own economy, huge interests other than health and the environment are suddenly prioritized. One can only regret the highly scalable nature of its virtuous discourses...That is, unless its position on the banishment of chrysotile is based more on its interests in marketing replacement fibers and products than on concerns for human health and safety!Really, this project of drilling the coral reef to extract coal is beyond understanding and sheds a crude light on Australia's true face.To read the article in the Jakarta Post

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