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Coal industry to blame for floods: Brown

GREENS leader Bob Brown has used the Queensland flood tragedy to launch an emotional attack on the coal industry, blaming “coal barons” for the disaster.

Lou Caruana
Coal industry to blame for floods: Brown

He reportedly said the Australian coal industry – which has been a major casualty of the floods in Queensland – should pay for the damage caused by the floods, with half of Canberra's planned Minerals Resource Rent Tax set aside for a repairs fund.

"Burning coal is a major cause of global warming," The Australian quoted Brown as saying.

"This industry, which is 75 per cent-owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in coming decades."

Brown wants the mining tax to be put into a sovereign fund, instead of being used for tax cuts and other government spending.

"It is unfair that the cost is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits," he said.

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson accused Brown of making political mileage out of a natural disaster.

"It's a time for pulling together, not pointing the finger," he reportedly said.

Ferguson also ruled out allocating proceeds of the proposed mining tax for a fund to cover the cost of repairing damage from natural disasters.

"The government has put forward a clear proposal in terms of how we intend to allocate revenue from the one-off development of our non-renewable natural resources, and we are not planning to change it," The Australian quoted Ferguson as saying.

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