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Bligh’s choice: Coal wins over the Reef

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has bought into Professor Garnaut's climate change defeatism and chosen to prioritise coal over the Great Barrier Reef, Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne said today.

Senator Milne said "Anna Bligh cannot have it both ways. She cannot claim to want to protect the Reef and the tens of thousands of jobs it provides, at the same time as arguing for a free ride for coal, aluminium and other big polluters.

"Instead of telling ABC radio that she is concerned about the Reef, Premier Bligh should come clean with Queensland voters and tell them that, by arguing for an easy deal for polluters, she has made her decision to abandon the Reef.

"An emissions trading scheme is fundamentally about reducing emissions by increasing the cost of polluting behaviour. If some polluters get an easy deal, the trading scheme will be undermined and we will not be able to make the deep emission cut that are required.

"While the Reef is in serious jeopardy, Queensland's exposure to climate change doesn't end there.

"Coastal communities from Cape York all the way to Brisbane are more and more vulnerable to storm surges, rising sea levels and more intense tropical cyclones. Agricultural communities across the state are grappling with a less predictable future that will be drier in some places and more tropical in others.

"Premier Bligh's support for the massive coal development at Shoalwater Bay, right next to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, since knocked back by Peter Garrett in his first major positive decision as Environment Minister, is symbolic of her choice to prioritise coal over the Reef."

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

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