Old parties condemn Reef with shale oil

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Premier Newman’s environmental vandalism knows no bounds, with the Great Barrier Reef set to suffer from open slather on shale oil mining, said the Australian Greens.

“Strip mining for shale oil is a disaster for the Reef. Along with its extreme climate impacts, shale oil mining uses unproven experimental technology and has serious environmental impacts. It’s the last industry you want on the shores of our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef,” said Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Environment spokesperson.

“This dangerous proposal comes from the man the Prime Minister wants to put in sole control of the Reef. The Prime Minister must now unequivocally rule out handing over federal environmental powers to the States and end the confusion she created on this matter.

“I will be informing UNESCO that the part of Queensland’s coast they described as pristine and wanted off-limits to coal ports is now open for shale oil strip mining. This is Premier Newman asking for a World Heritage In Danger listing, risking the health of the Reef and the long-term sustainable jobs in Queensland’s coastal communities.

“The Reef is already under threat from coal and gas port dredging, dumping and shipping, polluted mine water discharge, plans for uranium export and now coastal strip mining for shale oil – the latest in a long line of reasons why states can’t be trusted with environmental powers.

“There were good reasons for the moratorium on shale oil mining imposed in 2008, and those reasons remain. The moratorium should be extended, but instead Premier Newman is once again rolling out the red carpet for the miners.

“Premier Newman is on track to destroy Queensland’s environment by slashing Wild Rivers protection, sacking environment protection officers, repealing coastal protection policies, lifting the uranium mining ban, failing to deliver on his pre-election CSG promises and now calling open slather for a new fossil fuel industry. 

“This is a taste of what our environment could expect under an Abbott government, and yet federal Labor remains unwilling to step in and use its environmental muscles to protect our nationally important environment.

“Voters in Queensland and across Australia know that only the Greens care for long-term jobs, for people and for the environment.”