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Question Time: Winchester South coal mine

On Thursday 15 February 2024, I asked the Premier whether he accepts the findings that his Government's approval of the new Winchester South coal mine will limit human rights.

You can read my question and the Premier's response below, or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard)

Mr BERKMAN: My question this morning is to the Premier. Last week this government approved Whitehaven Coal’s Winchester South coalmine, which plans to extract 17 million tonnes of coal for the next 30 years. Does the Premier accept the Coordinator-General’s findings that this decision will impact human rights, in particular the human rights of children and First Nations people in Queensland, due to its climate impacts?

Mr MILES: I thank the member for Maiwar for his question. That project, like all projects that apply for approvals, goes through Queensland’s rigorous environmental assessment process. I, of course, have confidence in our Coordinator-General and the Office of the Coordinator-General. What the member would also be aware of is that, in order to address climate change, there is a series of global treaties that allocate emissions to the location in which those largely fossil fuels are burned. What we announced yesterday was a very strong plan to reduce the emissions for which Queensland and Australia are accountable under those treaties. We will continue to do our fair share to address climate change. We will continue to do our fair share to reduce emissions here locally. If the world is going to achieve those ambitions then industrial and resource states like Queensland need to be able to demonstrate that it is possible.

Many of those projects do have local emissions profiles—things like the diesel that they use on site, fugitive emissions and freight impacts. They are accountable here, and we will take steps to work with that industry to develop a sectoral plan to manage and reduce those emissions. That is really important and we will do that work.

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