Anti-coal billboard targets Qld parliament

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The campaign to stop a Clive Palmer-backed coal-fired power station seeking approval via a local council has reached the Queensland parliament.

Activist group GetUp has positioned a billboard outside state parliament suggesting new coal plants and a plan for climate action can't coexist. It says more than 29,000 people have signed a petition to stop the Waratah Coal project.

"It's timely that today, Deputy Premier Steven Miles and federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor are both presenting on a Pathway to NetZero panel," Queensland Conservation Council director Dave Copeman said.

"They both have the responsibility to rule out supporting a new coal-fired power station that would wreck our net zero targets while making coal barons even richer."

It comes as Queensland ministers talk up the state's green credentials following a series of hydrogen industry announcements, with Mr Miles due to speak at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia NetZero event with Mr Taylor on Tuesday.

"I'm very much looking forward to hearing what Australia's energy policy is today," Mr Miles told parliament on Tuesday.

Greens state MP Michael Berkman said the project would "totally trash" Queensland's emissions reductions targets, and said the government had two options to stop it.

"The deputy premier as planning minister could use his powers under the planning act to call in and reject it, or the Department of Environment under Minister (Meaghan) Scanlon could refuse to grant an environmental authority," he told parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Miles has previously suggested the proposed power station would suffer the same fate as a series of Mr Palmer's previous projects.

"It was a while ago now he announced we're to be getting a Titanic. We still don't have a Titanic. It was a while ago he announced we'd be getting a dinosaur park. We still don't have a dinosaur park," he told reporters last month.

Conservationists have also urged Mr Miles to intervene and stop Mr Palmer's company, Waratah Coal, building the $3.5 billion plant near the outback town of Alpha.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has accused the company of trying to sidestep conventional approval processes by lodging a development application with the Barcaldine Regional Council in central Queensland.

Asked in September if he would exercise his call-in powers, the deputy premier replied: "It's a long way from needing to take that kind of action."

A spokesman for Mr Palmer told AAP that Waratah Coal's application to the council for a material change of use was "absolutely a normal process".

The state government has said Queensland does not need another power station given it has a young fleet of publicly owned coal-fired generators.

It has also said the council must wait for advice from the State Assessment and Referral Agency before making a decision on the plant.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting