Labor has a strong history of acting to protect the environment.
It was Labor who initiated the protection of the Great Barrier Reef during the Whitlam Government. It was the Hawke and Keating Governments that protected the Franklin, the Daintree, Antarctica and extended Kakadu. The Rudd and Gillard Governments ended 30 years of conflict over Tasmania’s forests and 120 years of disagreement over the Murray Darling Basin.
When it comes to the Adani project, Labor’s position is clear. The project should not go ahead if it doesn’t stack up commercially or environmentally – and so far it hasn’t.
Media reports state the Adani company has claimed it has secured financial support – that’s a matter for Adani. It’s a fact though that around thirty banks worldwide have refused to invest in the project, and it has missed deadline after deadline.
We will not hand over $1 billion in taxpayer funds to a mining billionaire – something the Government won’t rule out doing.
Labor supports mining communities and workers – but unlike other existing projects, this particular project has so far not stacked up.
If there are decisions to be made in government, Labor will make them in the national interest, based on relevant laws, and the best and most recent information before us.
Labor does not rip up contracts and we don’t create sovereign risk.
Labor has a plan for real jobs in regional Queensland – we will invest in local infrastructure projects that will create more than 3,000 new jobs for Queenslanders, and we will announce more job-creating projects in the lead up to the next election.
UPDATE 14 NOVEMBER 2018:
The Department of Environment must explain reports that it ignored advice from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources that the impacts of the Adani's North Galilee Water Scheme could have significant impacts on a water resource.
It is extraordinary that the Department of Environment - which is not responsible for water policy - has disregarded the advice of the agency in charge of water policy.
The purpose of the ‘water trigger’ is to protect our crucial water resources by finding the facts, not conceal them.
Australians know the value of our water for agriculture, the environment and communities; it is clear the Liberals do not.
The ‘water trigger’ was put in place by Labor to protect water resources. It doesn’t automatically rule out a proposal. It is designed so the Independent Expert Scientific Committee has an opportunity to review the impacts.
In this case the test is clear in regard to when the water trigger is required - the test is whether or not the action involves a coal mine.
The argument that the proposed water scheme is not related to the development doesn’t stack up - if the coal mine were not going ahead, the pipeline and dam would not be going ahead.
The Minister has questions to answer. If the department in charge of water resources has provided advice that impacts may be significant then the proposals should be assessed by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee. It may well be that they determine that these particular water actions are not in themselves a problem.
The analysis and advice should come from experts. The Environment Minister needs to act urgently and follow due process.