Greens hit out at discount plan for Galilee Basin mines
THE Australian Greens have responded swiftly to a plan from Premier Campbell Newman and Deputy Jeff Seeney to offer a discount on fees to whichever firms develop coal mines first in the Galilee Basin, west of Rockhampton.
The race is currently being led by Indian powerhouse GVK Hancock's Alpha Coal project, which is part-owned by Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart.
Member for Fairfax and fellow billionaire Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal is developing its own mine-rail-port project for the region, as is fellow Indian giant Adani.
The government believes such an offer will help speed up development in the area and in the process, create jobs and economic benefits.
The Greens are opposed to any further expansion of Queensland's mining industry, particularly any growth that relies on sending that coal via Abbot Point near Bowen, an expanding port on the coastline of the Great Barrier Reef.
Senator Larissa Waters said there was no need for the Queensland Government to be offering discounts to companies owned by Mr Palmer or Ms Rinehart.
"At the end of the fossil fuel era, the Newman Government is propping up coal at the expense of the Great Barrier Reef and the climate, to make mining magnates even richer," Senator Larissa Waters said.