“Coal is good for humanity” says Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister. “Coal is vital for the future energy needs of the world, so let’s have no demonization of coal,” requests the prime minister.
He said these positive words about coal as he opened the new $3.9 billion coal mine in central Queensland. The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Caval Ridge coal mine, located south of Moranbah will employ 500 fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers.
The new mine is BMA’s eight in the region and according to this company, this mine is designed to produce approximately 5.5 million tons of coal every year.
Abbott on coal industry in Australia
“Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world,” said Abbot at the mine’s opening ceremonies.
“This is a sign of hope and confidence in the future of the coal industry – it’s a great industry, we’ve had a great partnership with Japan in the coal industry. “Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world,” he continued.
“Energy is what sustains our prosperity, and coal is the world’s principal energy source and it will be for many decades to come,” he added.
The financial benefit according to Abbott
According to Abbott, the mine would benefit the central Queensland region despite it only exclusively employing FIFO workers. “This mine is going to contribute some $30 million to the local economy so it’s much better for the local economy that we have this mine,” he said.
“The trajectory should be up and up and up in the years and decades to come,” Abbott added. “The future for coal is bright and it is the responsibility for government to try to ensure that we are there making it easier for everyone wanting to have a go,” he explained.
“It is a great day for the world because this mine will keep so many people employed … it will make so many lives better. This mine epitomises the have-a-go spirit,” he enthused.
However, looking back at previous statements from Abbott makes his recent pronouncements a bit suspect. Last May, he made a remark in a minerals industry parliamentary dinner that he could think of “few things more damaging to our future” than leaving coal in the ground.
Abbott the ‘conservationist’
In June, about a month later, Abbott stated that he took climate change very seriously. He made this statement after meeting with Barack Obama. “I regard myself as a conservationist,” Abbot said.
“Frankly, we should rest lightly on the planet and I’m determined to ensure that we do our duty by the future here,” he added.
Larissa Waters, Queensland Greens Senator is not convinced of the recent statements made by Abbott. She said it only showed that the Prime Minister was out of touch with the reality of climate change.
“People will be shaking their heads in disbelief at the Prime Minister’s alarming comment today, and future generations will wonder how our Prime Minister could be so short-sighted,” said Waters.
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