Catherine King Gets Smack Down from Scientists: “What ‘standards’ could possibly avert the disastrous effects of the 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions”?

Catherine King, Ballarat MP and powerful player in the Labor Party, was challenged about Labor’s position on Adani she responded with a Letter to the Editor in which she argued that if  the Adani coal mine “meets environmental standards” then it should proceed, she also argued that “Labor policies similarly commit…effective….action on Climate Change”.

Dr R John Petheram read her letter and wasn’t having anything of it. He responded with an impassioned plea to block the Queensland’s Adani/Carmichael coal mine because it contradicts the evidence based “environmental standards”. Enjoy.

New coal mine a problem by any measurement

How is it that intelligent politicians refuse to ‘get it’ that averting climate change is vital to the nation’s future health and well-being? Federal member, Catherine King tries hard to make the right moves in dealing with immediate issues related to her health portfolio, but after claiming that her party is ‘leading on environmental issues’ in her letter of 1 April, Ms King then starkly contradicts her claim by reaffirming Labor’s support for Queensland’s Carmichael coal mine – ‘if environmental standards are met’.

What ‘standards’ could possibly avert the disastrous effects of the 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions projected from this mine on Australia and the world’s future climate? These emissions would make it impossible for Australia, India or the world to meet emissions targets under the Paris Climate Agreement intended to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees. The traditional owners of the land have firmly rejected any Land Use Agreement with the coal mining company Adani. And further, scientific studies show the massive earthworks, dredging and destruction of coastal wetlands would have extremely harmful impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, ground and surface water supplies and native species survival. If our federal MP needs explanation of the basic science that makes a nonsense of her statement about Carmichael coal mine, there are many people happy to help.

Dr R John Petheram, Ballarat North

And here is Catherine King’s original letter

Labor is still a leader on indigenous rights and environment

I refer to the letter from former Greens candidate, Alice Barnes published in The Courier (March 30).

Labor has long been a leader of the Parliamentary push towards Indigenous rights and welfare. It was a Labor government which enacted land rights, and it was the current Labor opposition which took to the last election policies to recognise indigenous Australians in the constitution, to fund indigenous legal services and to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in areas of healthcare, education and incarceration.

Labor policies similarly commit to progressive, effective and affordable action on Climate Change. A Labor government would transition our energy system to 50% renewables by 2030, protect the Great Barrier Reef, strengthen environmental protections and institute an emissions trading scheme to give industry the certainty it needs to invest in our future.

What Ms Barnes fails to mention is that the Australian Labor Party, unlike the Turnbull Government, has offered no financial support to the Carmichael Coalmine. If, however, the company behind the project believes that it is commercially viable on its own and meets environmental standards it should, like all legal commercial ventures, be allowed to proceed.

This project has the approval of a majority of the local indigenous elders and the independent National Native Title Tribunal, and it is insulting to bring up the legacy of the late, great Gough Whitlam to further your attacks on the Labor Party which he led.

As a member of the Australian Labor Party I will not be taking my riding instructions from a member of the Greens.

Catherine King MP, Federal Member for Ballarat