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State minister backs mines against CPRS

State Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson and Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll in Moranbah on Tuesday where Mr Robertson said the Bligh Government did not support the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
State Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson and Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll in Moranbah on Tuesday where Mr Robertson said the Bligh Government did not support the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Contributed

THE Federal Government’s plan to tackle climate change has pitted it against the State Government, in particular, Mines and Energy minister Stephen Robertson.

Mr Robertson was in Moranbah this week to celebrate the launch of a new power plant at an Anglo Coal-owned mine that used waste coal gas to create enough electricity to power 48,000 homes.

He said the Bligh Government did not support the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which would charge a certain fee of companies that produce excessive amounts of pollution.

Speaking exclusively to Mackay's Daily Mercury about the scheme, Mr Robertson said the State backed the Australian Coal Association’s national ‘Cut Emissions Not Jobs’ campaign launched in Mackay on Monday.

"Many concerns held by the ACA have been raised by the Queensland Government and (Premier) Anna Bligh with the Federal Government," Mr Robertson said.

"We have some of the best coal to offer the world and arguably some of the cleanest coal in the world."

Federal Member for Dawson James Bidgood, however, slammed the campaign against the government’s climate change legislation saying that it was causing "unnecessary anxiety in the community."

"Treasury modelling shows that the coal industry output is projected to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2050," he said.

Mr Bidgood said the modelling paid for by the lobby group was misleading.

"The so-called job losses in the coal mining industry as reported represent potential jobs that are not created in a particular sector," he said.

"They’re not a reduction from current employment levels."

Mr Robertson stood shoulder to shoulder with Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll who has said the scheme could force Anglo, which owns four mines in our region, to shut down some operations early and put up to 2000 people out of work.

He said the Queensland Government had been negotiating with Canberra using "quiet diplomacy" through summits including Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meetings.

"We’ve been making our views very clear to the federal government."

The CPRS will be a cap on the amount of carbon pollution allowed and the government will issue permits up to the annual cap for each year.


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