Summary

The Queensland Greens support an economy that sustains the needs of people and nature, now and for future generations.

The current single-minded focus of big business and governments on economic expansion and increased resource consumption is not sustainable in our finite world. We need to shift our priorities from short term economic GDP growth to building an economy that can deliver sustainable improvements in quality of life, social justice and the health of the planet.  Our Sustainable Economy policy proposes a transition to a sustainable, renewable energy base for economic activity; a boom in ‘green collar’ jobs driven by smart incentives and regulation; and a revitalisation of small business, local economic activity and local communities.

Queensland governments can and should continue to play an important role in promoting an efficient and sustainable economy to provide employment opportunities, tourism, small business, industry, development and trade that supports communities and social inclusion delivering sustainable improvements in quality of life, social justice and the health of the planet.

The Queensland Greens believe that within the next ten years 100% renewable stationary energy is achievable, if the political will is there. Immediate, strong and sustained action is needed to reduce Queensland’s greenhouse gas emissions from the expansive coal and coal seam gas rush.  Our policies aim to achieve a transition in Queensland, within this generation, to an efficient, low carbon economy powered by renewable energy. The policies also avoid any involvement in the nuclear fuel chain that ends in nuclear waste or nuclear weapons. We believe there is a place for responsible mining, and with the sound management of our resources, infrastructure including ports to enable trade and industries to flourish in a sustainable economy and healthy environments. Included in that infrastructure is our transport policies, because how we move people, products and goods is vital to the sustainability of remote and rural communities as well as city dwellers.

 

Beliefs

The Queensland Greens believe:
  1. Our economy relies upon a healthy natural environment and serves human needs. Hence, an effective economy, ecological sustainability, and social well-being are not mutually exclusive.
  2. The economy functions as a subsystem of the Earth’s ecological systems. Hence, its effectiveness and sustainability are bound by the limits and condition of the Earth’s finite resources.
  3. The growth of economic development, rather than the focused expansion of Gross State Product, is a significant and intelligent driver of deep prosperity and social well-being.
  4. A progressive and responsible economy will support market dynamics, as well as contribute to the long-term well-being for our society.
  5. While government finances must be sustainable over the long-term, it is appropriate to stimulate the economy during economic downturns and save during economic booms. Government financing should be responsibly managed so as to minimise intergenerational debt.
  6. Natural monopolies and essential public services should generally be in public ownership.
  7. Our State Government should support only ecologically sustainable economic activities. It should lead in developing a culture of ecologically efficient consumption which will contribute significantly to our deep prosperity for now and the long-term.
  8. The proper assessment and appropriate evaluation of ecological system services used in production are extremely important actions for determining the true cost of our goods and services.
  9. Climate change will increase the frequency and severity of natural hazard events and their associated economic, social and environmental costs.  Adaptation measures should be enacted to avoid or minimize these costs, with a focus on pre-hazard planning rather than post-disaster response.
  10. Locally owned small and medium businesses are significant and crucial elements in developing the strength and resilience of local economies. Local economies contribute significantly to the resilience of the State’s economy.
  11. Meaningful and respectful employment are very important for the well-being of our society.

Goals

The Queensland Greens want to:
  1. Transition to an economy that is ecologically sustainable and socially responsible.
  2. Create jobs by working with business cycles to counter the socially adverse effects, without “crowding-out” private enterprise.
  3. Ensure that the economy develops in a way where wealth is distributed justly by market mechanisms, and where hard work and responsibility are rewarded fairly.
  4. Develop a system where all external costs associated with economic activity, including those of ecosystem services, are evaluated fully.  Where this activity is within regulatory requirements, and where appropriate, it is compensated for via a framework of charges based on the level of impact.
  5. Aid the transition to a renewable energy sector by redirecting fossil fuel infrastructure subsidies to businesses and families as they adopt renewable energy sources.
  6. Provide direct government investment and industry assistance towards the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.
  7. Encourage the efficient use of material resources in the manufacturing of goods, this includes significant use of recycled materials.
  8. Enable adaptation measures to respond to changes in natural hazard regimes via integrating climate change considerations into fiscal and social planning processes.
  9. Recognise and honour the benefits to the economy and society of unpaid volunteer work.
  10. Support the development and growth of both research based commercial activities and leading-edge technological industries.

Measures

The Queensland Greens will:
  1. Ensure the Queensland Government leads by example in developing an ecologically sustainable and socially responsible economy:
  2. Establish a timetable for the transition of Queensland Government investments into those which are environmentally, ethically and socially responsible.
  3. Ensure all government buildings, vehicles and other assets are, besides safe, environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
  4. Phase out inefficient modes of transport by Queensland Government members and staff.
  5. Ensure government funded infrastructure integrates reused and recycled material where possible.
  6. Where practical, replace proprietary commercial software with open source software in order to reduce department costs. This would foster activity in bespoke development of open source systems.
  7. Give priority to Fair Trade certification in government procurement of goods produced internationally.
  8. Develop workplace innovation to increase employment, by using methods such as job-sharing and reduced working hours.
  9. Develop a plan for a renewable energy economy in which fossil fuels are phased out as soon as possible. This plan will ensure that future infrastructure expenditure and job creation are designed for the long-term.
  10. Focus infrastructure spending on public transport and renewable energy, reversing the current bias towards road construction and polluting energy production.
  11. Create new craft training places and apprenticeships to retrain workers with transferable skills in repair and maintenance.
  12. Phase out payroll tax in favour of charges on ecosystem and social impacts.
  13. Introduce social and environmental accountability requirements, with guidance from the standards of Triple Bottom Line accounting. These are to include societal measures of well-being. A bureau will be established to guide and assist with compliance to this requirement.
  14. Provide for annual calculation of Queensland's ecological footprint and that of all individual local authorities to be used in association with traditional measures of economic activity.
  15. Promote the development of business clusters which facilitate employment near residences and public transport corridors.
  16. Provide funds for the expansion of recycling systems in order to reduce the amount of consumer waste disposed of as landfill.
  17. Set benchmarks for Queensland's manufacturing sector for the use of recycled material and waste reduction.
  18. Provide incentives to property developers to make it easier for them to use building construction technologies which are efficient and have low ecological impact.
  19. Plan for, and invest in, adaptation measures to lessen the economic, social and environmental impacts of changes to natural hazard regimes brought on by climate change.
  20. Encourage fairness by requiring that utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, are charged for by using calculations based on consumption, rather than including static fees.
  21. Develop and expand programs such as community kitchens, gardens, cleaning facilities and tool sheds to foster community based interaction and reduce the duplication of ownership of infrequently used tools.
  22. Recognise the economic value of unpaid voluntary work by providing health, energy and public transport concessions to those engaged in volunteer work.
  23. Support the establishment of social enterprises and cooperative businesses to strengthen local economies.