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May 11, 2021

Richmond candidates grilled on coal mine approval

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Hans Lovejoy

In light of the Adani mega coal mine approved by QLD Labor last Sunday, Echonetdaily asked the two main federal party candidates – Labor and the Nationals – their position.

North Coast Greens spokesperson Dawn Walker. (Supplied)
North Coast Greens spokesperson Dawn Walker. (Supplied)

Greens candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker was on the front foot with a press release just after Sunday’s approval.

She says, ‘both Queensland Labor and the Turnbull Government have put our precious Reef in unprecedented danger and set back global progress on tackling global warming, all in one foul swoop.’

Ms Walker says, ‘There is no doubt that right now our Reef is getting cooked. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies has described it as ‘the worst mass bleaching event in its history’ and yet the two old parties’ coal obsession means they are turning up the dial.’

Echonetdaily asked incumbent Justine Elliot (Labor) and Matthew Fraser (Nationals): ‘Given climate change is accepted science and the coal industry is in decline, do you believe this decision was appropriate?’


Massive concern: Nats candidate Fraser

matthew-fraser-feat-imageNationals candidate for Richmond, Matthew Fraser, told Echonetdaily  ‘Climate change is a massive concern. No matter where coal is to be mined, we need to be looking for new and innovative technologies to create cleaner energy alternatives. Given that the mine is so far away and I’m not aware of the environmental, social and economical factors relating to it, I feel I can’t comment on that decision. What I can say is that I am passionate about providing cleaner energy sources in this area and that I am proud to be a member of a party that banded with locals to stop CSG on the North Coast.’


Personally opposed: Labor MP Elliot

ALP MP for RIchmond, Justine Elliot.
ALP MP for RIchmond, Justine Elliot.

Meanwhile Justine Elliot MP told Echonetdaily, ‘The decision to approve the Adina coal mine is one made by the Queensland State government and Liberal Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP.’

‘Personally I’m opposed to the Adani coal mine going ahead and share the community’s concerns about the potential environmental harm that could follow to the Great Barrier Reef.

‘Federal Labor is committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, evidence of our support for a transition away from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy sources.

‘The market is showing the transition from fossil fuels is already happening and Federal Labor is about encouraging and supporting this transition through our commitment to 50% renewable energy by 2030.

‘Conventional fuels will be part of Australia’s energy mix for the immediate future, but they will have much less of a share because of the economics of both standard and renewable energy.

‘In terms of the Adani mine, there are still a series of legal challenges underway, as well as issues relating to securing financing.’


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  1. Nats candidate and Labor MP may be personally opposed to the mine, or even mining in general, but their opinion makes absolutely no difference. Their words are hollow as they must tow the party line. The Greens are the only party that clearly opposes CSG and coal mining and refuses political donations. Labor and Nats both take money from the fossil fuel industry. Until they also refuse, they are not to be trusted.

  2. ‘I am proud to be a member of a party that banded with locals to stop CSG on the North Coast.’

    He’s delusional.

  3. Mr Fraser, the effects of climate change will be felt at your doorstep ASAP so time to do your homework!
    Ms Elliott, your personal opinion does not matter. Your party approved this mine. Your party takes political donations from the mining industry. This corruption needs to stop.

  4. Why are the Echo referring to Labor and Nationals as the ‘two main candidates’? The Greens already hold a state seat on the north coast (Labor 0) and their performance is vital to the outcome in Richmond. Sad to see the Echo falling for the old 2-party narrative.




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