Originally published on the Queensland Greens web site on 10 Feb 09.
10 February 2010 - The Queensland Greens have today called for federal intervention to address the climate change impacts of the coal epidemic in central Queensland.
"The Greens want a climate trigger to be added to Australia's national environment laws so the federal government can step in to assess the full climate impacts of coal proposals, including Clive Palmer's China First and Gina Hancock's Alpha and Kevin's Corner coal mines in the Galilee Basin," said environmental lawyer and Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Larissa Waters.
Greens candidates Larissa Waters, Jenny Stirling and Jonathon Dykyj are visiting Bowen to hear community opposition to the coal mines, coal rail corridors, coal port expansions and local heavy industry area, and will attend a briefing on Galilee Basin coal projects where mining magnate Clive Palmer is also expected.
"The region's communities, the Reef, tourism, agriculture, grazing industries and development of alternative industries are being sacrificed for coal royalties, corporate profits and exports of more carbon pollution to China and Japan," said Ms Waters.
"The proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin are massive and will turn Queensland into the world's biggest coal exporter right when the latest science is calling for urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," said Ms Waters.
"Premier Bligh is ignoring the revenue and thousands of jobs dependent on a healthy Great Barrier Reef and is failing to drive the creation of thousands of clean energy jobs which could be powering Queensland and protecting the climate," said Ms Waters.
"Hancock's Kevin's Corner and Alpha Coal Mine will forever mark the exact point at which Rudd capitulated to the coal lobby, squandering the mandate he was given to deal with climate change and betraying future generations of Australians" said Jenny Stirling, Greens third Senate candidate.
In addition to coal projects, the state government is dumping the worst polluting industries such as aluminium and nickel refineries with smelters, chlor-alkali plant, ammonium nitrate plant, coke and gas fired power plants right on to Bowen residents in a ‘state development area' which demotes the community's legal rights to oppose the development.
"The federal government needs to step in and conduct an assessment of the cumulative impact of heavy industry and resource extraction on the community and the environment in the region," said Ms Waters.
Candidate for Dawson Jonathon Dykyj said: "We are here to challenge the short-sighted and inappropriate development of this region and to put forward sustainable alternatives which are economically and environmentally sound for this wonderful part of Queensland."
The Greens want to see the region's economy based on clean energy industries and associated manufacturing, sustainable agriculture, tourism, and improved public health, education and services for the aging population and young families.
Larissa Waters - Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland - larissa.waters [ AT ] qld.greens.org.au
See also: "Clive Palmer, Queensland Government announce $69 Billion Coal project" in the Sunday Mail of 7 Feb 10.