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Senate must stop Abbott from putting mining companies above the law

The Australian Greens are urging the Senate to block the Abbott Government's bill to gut public enforcement of environment law now being debated in the Lower House.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment and climate change spokesperson, said:

"Tony Abbott and George Brandis want to put big mining companies above the law and stop Australians who care about the environment and climate from upholding the law.

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Safeguard mechanism will let big polluters keep on polluting without paying

The Abbott Government's carbon pollution safeguard mechanism, reported on today, will allow big businesses, especially mining companies, to keep polluting even more than they do today without facing any penalty.

"The government's so-called safeguard mechanism won't make anyone safer from climate change," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said.

"In a complete sop to big business, Minister Hunt says the government has no intention of fining any big polluters, making it clear that the mechanism is designed to fail.

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Ipswich City Council’s transition from coal mining gives the city a competitive edge

The Australian Greens congratulate Ipswich City Council for its economically and environmentally responsible decision to transition away from coal mining by not supporting new coal mines or expansions.   

"This forward-thinking decision will make Ipswich, our state's fastest growing city, more liveable and healthy," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, said.

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Coal lobby’s ad campaign ignores the jobs it is killing

The mining lobby's advertising blitz today neglects to mention the jobs it is killing in other industries and the carbon pollution it is threatening our very way of life with.

"The mining lobby doesn't want to talk about the jobs it is killing in the agriculture, tourism and renewable energy industries," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said

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Senator Waters comments on the government's own modelling showing Tony Abbott over-exaggerated the cost of climate action:

Senator Waters comments on the government's own modelling showing Tony Abbott over-exaggerated the cost of climate action:

"You can't trust Tony Abbott, especially when it comes to climate change," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, said.

"The overdue release of the government's modelling late Friday afternoon reveals that Tony Abbott told Australians the cost of a 40 per cent target was more than four times what was actually modelled.

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Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, comments on the Newman Government spending $2 million on advertising to try and cover up how damaging its attacks on the Great Barrier Reef were:

"Queenslanders clearly saw through this waste of their own money and it's insulting that the Newman Government tried to fool them.

"It was clear to Queenslanders that Campbell Newman was intent on putting coal above the Reef and they booted him out at the election.

"Queenslanders will feel betrayed that the new Labor Government has continued down the track of dredging to turn the Reef into a shipping super highway for coal exports to cook the planet. 

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Stifling community enforcement of environment law is an attack on democracy

The Attorney General's plan to limit public enforcement of environmental law is an attack on democracy and won't change that the Carmichael coal mine doesn't make economic sense.  

"The Abbott Government won't let anything get in the way of its coal obsession, not even the law," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens deputy leader and climate change spokesperson, said.

"It's so determined to put coal ahead of renewables, despite renewable technology bounding ahead and the coal price dwindling, that it wants to take away public rights to uphold environment law.

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UCG experiment with Queenslanders’ health, land and water must be stopped

The Queensland Government report that shows underground coal gasification has contaminated prime agricultural land near Chinchilla and reports of investigators becoming sick should spell the end of the industry.

"Governments are using Queensland communities and the prime agricultural land they farm as test bunnies," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, said.

"It's time to end this toxic experiment with our land, water and people's health that is underground coal gasification and coal seam gas mining alike.

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Abbott Government’s 2030 climate target cements Australia as worst polluter in the world

The Abbott Government's reported 2030 climate target is less than half of what the Climate Change Authority, the government's independent expert body, has recommended as a bare minimum.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said:

"This is a weak target from a weak Prime Minister that cements Australia as the worst polluter per capita in the world, trashing our international reputation.   

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Abbott Government must listen to everyday Australians not coal barons when setting climate targets today

The Abbott Government Cabinet needs to listen to the majority of Australians who want climate action in its meeting today to decide on post-2020 targets.

Commenting on the Climate Institute's review of public attitudes, released today, Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said:

"Not only is Tony Abbott ignoring the science and snubbing the rest of the world, he is completely out of touch with most Australians, who understand climate action means new jobs.  

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