Abbott said that “coal is good for humanity” while opening the Caval Ridge coalmine in Moranbah.
His comments show that he is “completely out of touch with the reality of the climate crisis we face”, Greens senator Larissa Waters said.
“People will be shaking their heads in disbelief at the Prime Minister’s alarming comment today, and future generations will wonder how our Prime Minister could be so short sighted,” she said.
“While our Prime Minister continues to ignore reality, Australians understand coal is threatening our very way of life and our planet, with global warming, sea level rise and acidification and more extreme weather events.
“But Tony Abbott is ignoring global pleas for Australia to stop digging up climate-destroying coal and instead ticking off on more mega mines to dramatically increase our national contribution to climate change and threaten job-rich industries which rely on a healthy climate.”
Instead of waking up to falling coking and thermal coal prices, Abbott and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman keep pushing along this “dead-end road, which is full of job uncertainty”, Waters said.
“We have renewable alternatives that can provide sustainable, local jobs, but Tony Abbott is threatening renewable investment and putting the big mining companies ahead of Queenslanders and the climate,” she said.