On Monday 12 February 2024, I made a speech in Federal Parliament about the Queensland Labor government approving two new coal mines. You can watch the full speech here or read the transcript below.
New Queensland premier, same old coalmine approvals. Steven Miles has approved two new coalmines in just the past couple of weeks. These two coalmines will generate a massive 594 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions—that's more than Australia's total annual emissions—and bulldoze 2,700 hectares of koala habitat. These two coalmines will generate enormous profits for giant multinational mining corporations. They'll pay next to no tax. Australians won't see the benefit of these mines, but they will see the consequences.
It's insanity, and Steven Miles and Queensland Labor know that it's insanity. We've just gone through multiple flooding events, heatwaves and sweltering humidity all in one summer, which we know will only get worse as the planet warms. Steven Miles and Queensland Labor know the consequences of their actions. They know the science. They know they're endangering lives, but they've made the cold calculation that the profits of coalmining corporations are more important. Both approvals are now sitting on the federal environment minister's desk for final sign-off. Will she make the same calculation?