Bill Shorten has challenged Tony Abbott to propose “sensible” reforms to environmental laws, rather than “attacking the court system” for overturning the proposed Queensland Carmichael mega coalmine.
The Opposition Leader today accused Mr Abbott of “second-guessing our judges” by proposing a new environmental standard that “near enough is good enough”.
“If there’s a problem with the way the law is formed then we go back and debate it in parliament, but Mr Abbott seems to be creating a new test for environmental protection in this country that near enough is good enough – well it’s not,” Mr Shorten said.
“If Mr Abbott doesn’t like the law … he can always sit down with Labor and talk about sensible amendments which may need to be made … rather than just attacking the court system.”
Mr Abbott today touted the environmental benefits of Australian coal, describing it as “invariably … much better for the environment than the alternative”.
Greenpeace Australia-Pacific chief executive David Ritter accused Mr Abbott of running “a personal campaign to prop up the coal industry, courtesy of the taxpayers of Australia”.
“We have an independent judiciary that must be respected, rather than undermined by the government,” said Mr Ritter.
“When you lose a legal battle, you don’t just change the laws to suit your case. No decent Australian would agree with this perversion of our laws.”
End Green sabotage of coal: PM
Tony Abbott has declared that the overturning of the proposed Queensland Carmichael mega coalmine means courts can be used to “sabotage” worthy projects, in his strongest defence yet of coal production in Australia.
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