The Queensland Greens have expressed concern about the Premier’s priorities in light of his refusal to contribute any money to the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Queensland.
The Australian Greens welcome today’s modelling of the cumulative water impacts of coal seam gas in the Surat Basin, but say the Queensland and Australian Governments should not have issued approvals for CSG before this and other comprehensive scientific research has been done.
The Draft Underground Water Impact Report released by the Queensland Water Commission predicts some bores in Queensland’s best food-producing land will drop up to 150m and take at least the rest of the century to recover by 50 per cent.
“While we welcome this modelling about the long-term water impacts of CSG, it’s disgraceful that the Queensland and Australian Governments gave coal seam gas the green light before the science is in,” Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
“There remain serious unanswered questions about coal seam gas, such as what to do with the many tonnes of salt extracted by CSG mining, or the real picture of the life-cycle carbon emissions of CSG in Australia.
“I am urging farmers to have their say about predicted drops in the water table from coal seam gas mining, and let the Queensland Water Commission know if these drops will impact the way they do business, or even if they can continue farming.
“It’s also important that the desktop modelling from this study is verified with checks against on-ground data, and revised annually, not just every three years as the Queensland Water Commission is planning.
“It’s well past time for the Australian Government to step in and press pause on CSG, until the necessary scientific research has been done to reveal exactly how CSG will damage our water resources, our environment and our prime agricultural land.”
The casualisation of the workforce over the past 20 years has been one of the most noticeable and disturbing trends in the workplace according to the Queensland Council Unions Submission to the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work (2012).
The Queensland Greens have urged the Premier to take a more constructive approach to the presence of the fledgling Aboriginal embassy in Musgrave Park.
‘Threatening to send in police, and particularly likening Australia’s first people to squatters, is obviously not going to help find a constructive way forward,’ said Greens spokesperson, Adam Stone.
The Queensland Greens have urged Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to resume negotiations with the Musgrave Park community who have established an Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy in the park grounds.
The Aboriginal community fears that they will be forcibly removed after a Brisbane City Council officer informed them by phone that all negotiations were off this afternoon.
‘The Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy supporters have been negotiating amicably with the Panyiri Festival organisers about using the park for the annual Greek celebration this weekend so it is disappointing to have the council foment confrontation in this way, ‘ Queensland Greens spokesperson Libby Connors said this evening.
‘Council cannot deny Aboriginal people’s long use and identification with Musgrave Park. It has been recognised as an Aboriginal place since the early foundations of the city of Brisbane.’
‘To not allow the Aboriginal community to conduct their negotiations with the Panyiri organisers without intimidation by council is inappropriate.
‘The mayor cannot support multiculturalism and deny Aboriginal cultural connections to the Park.
‘We Greens are concerned that Mayor Quirk’s paternalism is going to lead to a violent showdown in the lead up to one of the city’s most popular multicultural festivals.’
The Queensland Greens have reacted with dismay to the Premier’s statement that he will bypass Parliamentary committeesin his haste to implement his legislative agenda, lamenting a missed opportunity to improve Queensland’s political culture.
New research identifying greater dangers for whales from the Government’s plans for increased fossil fuel exports should cause the federal Environment Minister to review existing approvals and press pause on further approvals for controversial port expansions in Queensland, said the Australian Greens today.
This latest research indicates areas close to ports marked for large expansions as critical for humpback whales, and will be verified with further aerial studies to be released by the end of the year.
“Senate Estimates showed shipping movements are expected to increase more than three-fold, due to these massive port expansions for fossil fuel exports,” Greens environment spokesperson and former environmental lawyer Senator Larissa Waters said.
“With more than 11,700 shipping movements projected – more than one every hour – and this new research about critical whale areas, it’s highly likely that we will be seeing more humpback adults and babies being injured or killed due to collisions with coal and gas tankers.
“The Australian Government can’t have it both ways – they can’t turn our World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef into a coal and gas highway without severely damaging the environmental values for which the Reef was listed in the first place.
“The Environment Minister should wait for the results of these further whale studies before issuing any more port approvals.
“Likewise the Minister should reconsider existing port approvals when this ‘significant new information’ about whale impacts is published.
“If the Minister says this research is not ‘significant new information' which would allow him to reconsider approvals, this determination could be challenged in the courts.”
A further discarding of two tonnes of diseased Gladstone fish by the Brisbane Raptis Fish Market confirms that the government is on the wrong course in its management of Gladstone Harbour.
The local Gladstone fish market has been warning of the ongoing problems in the harbour for a year now. It discarded 600 tonnes of diseased fish last September.