Coal mining and environmental tourism are both cash cows for the state of Queensland, a resource-rich northeast playground that promotes itself as Australia's "Sunshine State."
But the Carmichael coal project, a massive 22bn Australian dollar ($16.5bn) mine that Indian resource billionaire Gautam Adani hopes to start work on this year in the remote Galilee Basin, has created an extraordinary clash between the resource and environment sectors.
Those concerned by the environmental cost of the colossal development are particularly irked that federal and state governments have considered subsidizing Adani's entry into an already-crowded Australian coal mining industry.
Adani boasts that the mine will generate power for 100 million Indians, while providing Queensland with 10,000 jobs plus $22bn in mining tax and royalties revenue within 30 years.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.