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Labor and the Liberals Vote Against Ban on New Coal Mines

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Tags: Climate Change, Coal

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Climate spokesperson

In a climate emergency, carbon that’s in the ground must stay in the ground. It’s that simple. 

The Greens’ motion in Parliament called for a straightforward, urgently needed, ban on new thermal coal mines in Tasmania. It reflected the dire need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and prevent adding more carbon emissions to an overloaded atmosphere.

In complete contempt for the thousands of Tasmanians who marched for climate action, the Liberals replaced the entire motion to ban thermal coal mining with a self-congratulatory tripe amendment. Appalling, but hardly surprising from the government that delivered $73,000 of public money to coal companies this year.

Instead of backing the motion to ban new coal mines, the Labor Party watered it down to just those on “prime agricultural land”.

The Labor Party’s amendment was tokenistic and missed the point. Digging up thermal coal to burn will release carbon into the atmosphere and contribute to global heating, no matter which plot of land it came from.

At the end of the debate, the Labor Party decided to back in the Liberals’ amendment to our simple, clear and critically important motion. They are complicit in keeping us stuck in a status quo that is causing the unfolding crisis.

The planet and future generations need people in our parliaments to lead on climate action, not to ignore the science or hide behind weasel words.

It’s future generations of Tasmanians that both Labor and the Liberals are letting down with their climate action failure. Young people, their families and friends, deserve far better.

The Greens will be the voice for climate action in our Parliament. It's the only sane and life-affirming thing to do. 

We will not back down.