At­ten­tion Mr Chris­tensen

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

GE­ORGE Chris­tensen's un­in­formed speech to par­lia­ment re­cently just shows how out of touch with the real world he is. To im­ply that if Queens­land does not ex­port coal to In­dia then the poor peo­ple there will stay poor as a re­sult is com­pletely in­ac­cu­rate and false.

Even if Queens­land's coal is ex­ported to In­dia there is ab­so­lutely no ben­e­fit to many mil­lions of poor peo­ple in In­dia. They will not have ac­cess to any en­ergy cre­ated by our coal - they sim­ply can­not. It is Im­pos­si­ble. In the poor­est re­gions of In­dia there is no en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture, none at all. Even if by some mir­a­cle the In­dian gov­ern­ment was able to pro­vide the ap­pro­pri­ate in­fra­struc­ture the poor peo­ple would still not be able to ac­cess it. They can­not af­ford to pay for en­ergy - sim­ple as that. No money, they’re poverty stricken. Peo­ple op­posed to ship­ping off our dirty (yes, coal is a dirty in­dus­try Ge­orge) coal are not ex­treme greens. They are or­di­nary Aus­tralians from all back­grounds, walks of life and re­gions, and are well in­formed on the doc­u­mented health risks of coal to both the en­vi­ron­ment and hu­man health. They un­der­stand that the poor of In­dia will not ben­e­fit in any way from us ex­port­ing coal to In­dia - a coun­try where the en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter has pub­li­cally stated they do not wish to pur­chase ad­di­tional coal from Australia and are ac­tively mov­ing away from re­liance on fos­sil fu­els to re­new­able en­ergy sources. It is ex­tremely dis­heart­en­ing to re­alise that our lo­cal fed­eral mem­ber is so un­in­formed on the im­pacts of the coal in­dus­try that he is happy to broad­cast in­ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion, and ap­pears to be dis­as­so­ci­ated from many of his con­stituents view points and con­cerns.

San­dra Wil­liams AIR­LIE BEACH

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