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From the Greater Whitsunday Mayors' Desk

Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors, representing Isaac,
Mackay and Whitsunday regions Mayor Anne Baker - Isaac Region (chair)
Mayor Greg Williamson - Mackay Region
Mayor Andrew Willcox - Whitsunday Region


The time has come for the inner-city greens to clean up their own backyard.

A comparison of the carbon emissions of one of our biggest capitals with that of a coal mine has revealed the shame of our cities.

It is a shame neatly shrouded by a veil of false indignation, hot air and protest placards.

Virtue signalling on the future coal mining from the privileged populations of carbon intensive cities, those whose lifestyles are funded and powered by the very sector they seek to dismantle, smacks of hypocrisy.

CO2 emissions generated per hectare by the population of Melbourne have been revealed to be 402 tonnes per year. By comparison, the CO2 output of an operating coal mine per hectare is 172 tonnes per year, according to new research from Synergies Economic Consulting, prepared for the Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors.

Yet the solution to the problem of carbon emissions and climate change is to arbitrarily shut down an industry which effectively powers our cities and affords those angry urbanites their comfortable lifestyle.

For all the talk we are yet to see a significant change in the environmental drain created by our sprawling cities, which are hungry for more power not less, in the climate-controlled commute between home-office-home.

It’s easy to campaign for change when you don’t actually have to change.

Let’s start talking about the environmental impact created by those in our cities and what the plan is to address this growing problem before targeting one industry.

But, instead, all we are hearing is the need for our resource sector workers and communities to reskill for a transition to the new economy.

Is that the same new economy that is providing opportunities for our displaced car industry workers in Elizabeth and Geelong or have we already forgotten about the impact of shutting down an Australian industry?

What is clear is that we do need to engage in a genuine national conversation about charting an achievable and sustainable path to reducing carbon emissions and a future energy mix that is more than just a target and a date.

And that’s all our political leaders are pitching in this Federal Election – it’s just the numbers that
vary depending on where they sit on the political spectrum.

To be honest, it just doesn’t stack up. What does stack up are the economic benefits the Galilee
Basin will provide to Queensland and Australia.

Coal and gas projects in the Galilee Basin have the potential to generate almost $4 billion in
additional economic activity and support more than 13,000 jobs in the Greater Whitsunday region
by 2030.

The Galilee is a vast untapped resource of coal and gas which will yield billions in economic output and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Those billions of dollars in activity will, in turn, generate billions in revenues for federal and state
governments.

More than half a billion dollars in royalties and payroll tax revenue every year, in fact, which adds
up to more than $10 billion over the two-decade life of a resources project.

That’s the equivalent of two Cross-River Rail projects or 10 Brisbane metros.

Those future revenues will deliver the better roads, public transport, schools, hospitals and essential services demanded by those in our cities, the same people who continue to demand  we must stop one mine and pull the pin on developing the Galilee Basin.

There is the potential for additional economic activity of more than $1 billion per year, supporting
almost 2400 jobs, during the construction phase of Galilee resources and infrastructure developments over the next decade.

Our regional economy could grow by $3.9 billion by 2030, under a medium development scenario, directly supporting some 13,400 jobs across all sectors.

Development of the Galilee Basin will be an absolute boon for the nation and we are weary of twoword slogans from activists who belittle the contribution of this region to the economy.

They seek to deny future generations access to the prosperity they have enjoyed by pulling the
ladder up behind them.

Change begins at home and it’s time to clean up your act.

-Ends-

Image: Greater Whitsunday Council of Mayors, left to right, Mackay Region Mayor Greg Williamson, Isaac Region Mayor Anne Baker and Whitsunday Region Mayor Andrew Willcox.

MEDIA CONTACT
Isaac Regional Council Brand, Media and Communications - Jim Hutchinson
M: 0437 297 839                                      E: jim.hutchinson@isaac.qld.gov.au

 

14 May 2019