Dear Mr Brough
I am writing to you, my local representative in the federal government, as the issues I raise are of national import.
The current government appears to be totally supportive of the push to mine and export massive amounts of coal from the Galilee Basin in Queensland. The usual justifications for this activity are economic growth and jobs. The evidence is overwhelming that climate change is the most serious threat to the health of all life on Earth, and that coal mining operations, the exporting of this resource and the burning of this coal directly contributes to the problem. With that knowledge I cannot sit by and do nothing to try and stop this destructive activity from proceeding. I want to have some answer for my grandchildren when they ask me what I did to stop the destruction of the atmosphere and the oceans when we knew full well that continued coal exploitation would only make things worse. Here in Queensland it will be even more uncomfortable when we have to explain to our descendants about what happened to the Great Barrier Reef and describe what a beautiful wonder it once was. In addition, how can we justify to any rational person that a natural resource buried under the ground for millions of years became the property of private individuals, such as Gina Rhinehardt and Clive Palmer, to exploit and sell to the detriment of both the environment and the common people?
Mr Brough, I have looked at your websites and in the media to find what your stance is on the environment, and specifically the exploitation of coal in the Galilee Basin, and have not been able to satisfy my curiosity. Could you please answer the following questions:
- 1. Do you accept that the mining, exportation and burning of the expected 300 Mt of coal per annum from the Galillee Basin will harm the local and global environment?
- 2. What are you doing to stop the coal mining in this part of the world?
Australia is by many measures the wealthiest nation in the world today. To wantonly plunder the coal in the Galilee Basin for the sake of economic growth will be judged as an act of greed and insanity. With the knowledge that we have, and that we teach in our schools, about the importance of caring for the environment and each other, it is unfathomable that we would allow the mining and export of such a dirty energy source. At the same time to allow a very small number of people to become obscenely wealthy, as a result of this activity, is a hypocritical insult to any claims that we are an egalitarian country.
Reducing our energy needs and developing cleaner energy technology is doable, particularly in a nation such as Australia. Similarly, stabilising the economy, so that unlimited private wealth accumulation and growing debt do not lead to an economic and social crisis, is possible. What is required is strong leadership and true democratic representation by our elected officials in government. The role of the government is not to facilitate the destruction of the environment or to hand power over to wealthy individuals or corporations. Mindless toiling to the mantra of economic growth and job creation is the problem and not the solution.
I am calling on you as my representative to seriously consider and address the two questions I have proposed.