Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Climate Change spokesperson
Reports Midland Energy have not received the $50,000 taxpayer funds they had been granted for thermal coal exploration in the midlands are welcome. No public funds should be directed towards activities that accelerate climate change.
However, the only reason Midland Energy were not handed $50,000 was because they had not started any drilling operations – they didn’t tick an administrative box. This was a technical decision, not one of government will, as it should have been.
With the Gutwein Government rolling out a COVID-19 assistance package for the mining sector, they must rule out any assistance going towards mining thermal coal.
Tasmania is recovering from a pandemic, but we have not stopped being in the grips of a climate emergency. There is no justification for taxpayer money, through government assistance, going to thermal coal exploration or extraction.
Premier Gutwein is the first Liberal Climate Change Minister and the community expect him to take that responsibility seriously – especially young Tasmanians.
Neither the Liberals nor Labor supported our push last year to prohibit new thermal coal mines, but we hope they will recognise the economic recovery is their chance to reset.