Protesters rallied outside Queensland’s parliament on September 16 to demand the Palaszczuk government honour its election promises and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
This comes after several victories for the environment movement, with major banks pulling out of the Carmichael Coal mining project that, if approved, would greatly increase Australia’s coal production and damage to the Great Barrier Reef.
Larissa Baldwin, national co-ordinator of SEED, the Indigenous youth climate group said, “The Queensland government was elected at the beginning of the year with a mandate to protect the Great Barrier Reef”.
Baldwin said the Queensland people had made their voices clear in opposition to plans to dredge and dump spoil into the Great Barrier Reef at Abbot Point.
Key to this campaign is the defence of Indigenous people’s right to land, with the traditional owners of the land around the proposed projects having already rejected them, as they would significantly damage the land and waters that constitute their country.
Baldwin said: “We are a signatory to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which means they can consent or not, and in this case, they have said no”. This could lead to the state government forcibly acquiring their land.
Baldwin also noted that Adani, the coal company is spear-heading this project, has signed a deal with the government that makes the project royalty free — more corporate welfare.
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