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State investment in coal terminal expansion not long-term thinking

Massive dirty coal port expansion into the heart of the Great Barrier Reef

The Greens have questioned the economic direction of the State in the wake of the recently announced upgrade to the Abbot Point coal port.

‘It seems crazy to have a Government-owned enterprise (North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation) actively fostering a massive expansion in our capacity to ship coal out to the rest of the world’ said Greens state election spokesperson and candidate for Mt Coot-tha, Adam Stone.

‘Why would we commit public effort and resources to increasing our economic reliance on such a greenhouse-intensive industry when we know that it is vulnerable to global action on climate change? And when we know the massive economic cost that runaway climate change will impose?’

‘Surely if we are serious about the long-term economic future of our State, we would pour our efforts into building up new areas of economic activity that will capitalise on global attempts to reduce emissions.’

‘Let’s see a Government-owned enterprise nurturing the development of a Queensland bio jet fuel industry, which the CSIRO recently found could generate 12 000 jobs. Or expanding our electricity transmission infrastructure to make it viable for the private sector to deploy renewable energy plants in the energy-rich regional areas of our State.’

‘These kinds of initiatives represent bold, long-term economic planning in the public interest. They are where we should devote our resources and effort.’

Adam concluded by clarifying that this is not part of any Greens campaign to “shut down the coal industry overnight”.

‘This is a common misconception. The Greens do not advocate an immediate closure of the coal industry. But we do say let’s not increase our dependence on this industry – instead, let’s devote our efforts to fostering the kind of economy that meets our economic aspirations while also being sustainable for the indefinite future.’

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