The Australian Greens are calling on Queensland Environment Minister Powell to explain why he met with Deutsche Bank in Germany after the bank ruled out financing the Abbot Point coal port expansion.
The meeting in September was revealed late last night in Senate Estimates as a result of questioning of the federal Environment Department by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson.
“Queenslanders have a right to know why their Environment Minister met with a bank that had ruled out financing the destruction at Abbot Point,” Senator Waters said.
“Our Environment Minister should be working to protect the Reef, not facilitating its demise.
“Minister Powell must come clean on whether this meeting was set up to lobby the bank to reverse its decision not to finance the Reef destruction at Abbot Point.
“We also discovered last night that federal Environment Minister Hunt also met with a German bank and discussed potential investments in Australia.
“The meetings were during a trip in Europe where the pair met with World Heritage Committee members to try and lobby away an ‘In Danger’ listing for the Great Barrier Reef.
“Instead of trying lobby members of the World Heritage Committee, the Abbott and Newman governments should be following the committee’s recommendations to save the Reef from an ‘In Danger’ listing.
“But they’re flouting these recommendations, by approving more mining industrialisation, and risking the Reef’s international status,” Senator Waters said.