Palaszczuk Government must not pick coal over Reef for economic stimulus

The latest economic recovery announcements from the Queensland Government are backing the coal industry at the expense of the Great Barrier Reef says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

Before we’ve learnt the extent of coral mortality in our Great Barrier Reef from the latest mass bleaching event, the Queensland Government has voiced their support for a new coal mine and committed $110 million to coal fired power station work this week. The measures are supposed to provide a pathway to economic recovery, but will in fact send our Reef backwards by propping up outdated, polluting energy.

AMCS spokesperson Shani Tager said “Protecting Australian’s Great Barrier Reef is supposed to be a Palaszczuk Government priority, but these latest announcements instead back the coal industry that threatens its very future.

“Developing new coal mines and using public funds to overhaul coal fired power stations will just lead to more climate pollution that risks our Reef and the jobs of the 64,000 people that depend on it.

“There is an opportunity to rebuild the local economy in a way that creates jobs and addresses the major threats to our Reef by cutting emissions and cleaning up water quality.

“There are projects ready to go so we can rebuild for our Reef by backing renewable energy, reef catchment restoration and measures that support our critical tourism industry that is doing it tough as a result of the pandemic.

“As we look to the long-term recovery from the Covid crisis, our state government must make smart and future proof choices, rather than insisting on backing old and dirty technology like coal.”

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