Great Barrier Reef coal mine turning into Australia's Keystone XL

The state of Queensland in Australia through its Resources Council has joined the country's Federal Treasurer in slamming an advertisement by Greenpeace opposing a new coal project.

The ads were placed in India's Financial Times to protest the massive Alpha project in the Galilee Basin led by India's GVK.  The ads expressed concerns about the impact a rail link to a port close to the Great Barrier Reef will have.

The ads say investing in Australia's mega-mines is "risky business" and calls into question the ability of GVK to pull off the project as the group "has never built a mine in Australia."

In the ads Greenpeace also weighs in on the furore over the hiring of foreigners to work on Australia's mines.

Australian Mining quotes from the officials' statements calling the anti-mining campaign "increasingly shrill and irrational", "deplorable and obnoxious" and a "new low".

Alpha has become a hot political and environmental issue in Australia similar to the controversy created by the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's oilsands to the US Gulf coast.

Australia's federal environment minister last week put on hold the approval process for the $6 billion-plus coal mine saying the Queensland environmental study was shoddy and ignored a dire report by Unesco on the impact development has had on the reef.

GVK in September last year paid $1.3 billion to Hancock Prospecting to take over the coal, rail and port projects. Hancock's owner and fourth richest miner in the world, Georgina Hope Rinehart joined GVK Power's board as part of the deal and retains a stake in the mines.