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Mining giant gets free ride from Bligh

Environmental laws don’t apply to mines is the message from Premier Bligh’s promise to pass special laws to override yesterday’s Court decision against Xstrata Coal, said the Greens today.

“The big end of town gets a free ride in Queensland. The rest of us have to abide by the law, but if you’re a mining giant you get special treatment,” said Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, environmental lawyer Larissa Waters.

Last night Premier Bligh announced that special laws would be pushed through Parliament next week to allow the expansion of Xstrata Coal’s Newlands Wollombi 2 mine to go ahead, without waiting for a court’s decision on whether the company was obliged to offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions the mine and its coal would generate.

“The Queensland government continues to act like a dictatorship with Premier Bligh refusing to abide by the ruling of the highest court in the state on the crucial issue of climate change.

“Premier Bligh is a carbon copy of Peter Beattie and continues his arrogant and dismissive approach to democracy.

“She refused to have a referendum on daylight savings, she refused to overrule the Council amalgamations and now she has promised to ram through special laws to override the highest Court in the state.

“Clearly Premier Bligh is more concerned to accommodate mining giant Xstrata than to face up to the impacts of climate change and allow a court to rule on Xstrata’s obligations.

“Premier Bligh is playing politics with this issue by claiming mining jobs are under threat. QCC sought to have 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the mine expansion offset by tree planting - which would create jobs, not threaten them.

“Bligh should abide by the Court of Appeal’s ruling that QCC’s case be re-heard by the Land Court, following the proper rules of evidence, and agree to follow the finding of the Court on whether our environment legislation requires this massive mine extension to offset some of its dangerous greenhouse gas emissions,” concluded Ms Waters.

For more information contact:
Larissa Waters 0421844280
larissa.waters|AT|qld.greens.org.au

For biographical information see: www.larissawaters.net