Within 24 hours of the news of a by-election in the Greens/Labor marginal seat of Batman, Federal Labor reaffirm they do not support taxpayer funds for any Galilee Basin rail line.
“Bill Shorten is no Caped Crusader - we know there’s an election coming when Labor starts to parade their green credentials.
“But he has provided a perfect opportunity for Queensland Labor to get out of their self-made mess and do what’s right for the regions”, says Queensland Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett.
“All Queensland Labor have to do now is follow their colleagues’ lead and rule out taxpayer funding for any new coal developments in the Galilee Basin.
“Then we could celebrate the end of Queensland Labor’s Two Face act on their election promise.
“Regional Queensland would welcome the many alternate opportunities in local infrastructure projects that do not cause the social, economic or environmental harm the coal industry inflicts.
“I’ve visited Rockhampton, Mackay, Cairns and surrounding towns over the last week, and it’s clear that many locals oppose any new coal mines and the expansion of the fossil fuel industries in the region.
“They want stable jobs and economic security, as well as quality social and community services: the polar opposite of what the boom-and-bust fossil fuel industry delivers.
“This is an opportunity for Queensland Labor to show courage and leadership to support a better future for regional communities, such as supporting the construction of major renewable energy generation projects, expanding tourism opportunities, and investing in health and social services.
“Whilst Federal Labor’s statements are welcome, Bill should be warned that if Queensland Labor don’t finally take a clear position not to support any new coal mines in the Galilee basin, trailing a green cloak in Batman will just make them look like Jokers.