Annastacia Palaszczuk has made a bold declaration to Queensland miners in the wake of a global climate conference.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has assured miners the Queensland government will continue to support and invest in the sector despite the recent global net zero commitment.
Just weeks after world leaders committed to the target by 2050 at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the Premier told the industry’s peak body the plan to move away from environmentally harmful mining did not mean a “zero-sum game” for the sector.
“I am confident that our best days remain ahead of us,” Ms Palaszczuk told the Queensland Resources Council event on Wednesday.
“The resources sector will continue to grow and support more jobs across Queensland.
“The global commitments at COP26 towards net zero emissions by 2050 are not a zero-sum game between action on climate change and mining jobs.
“These commitments to net zero will make Queensland’s resources sector even stronger over the long-term.”
The Premier said Queensland was geographically positioned with an abundance of wind and solar to become a “clean energy superpower” while she also spruiked the need to extract “resources below the ground”.
Ms Palaszczuk has often faced criticism for supporting the coal sector amid the increasing urgency to transition towards clean sources of energy.
On the eve of the Queensland election last year, the Premier approved the construction of the Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland.
And Wednesday’s carefully worded address suggests the state government will continue to delicately support both sides of the highly politically issue.
“Queensland has the minerals that will be needed for the world to build clean energy systems,” the Premier said.
“As a key input for steel, Queensland’s metallurgical coal will continue to support the construction of wind turbines across the world.
“The Queensland resources sector has a critical role to play in ensuring that renewable energy is delivered affordably and sustainably.”
Materials to support the transition to renewable energy included vanadium and cobalt to build batteries, Ms Palaszczuk noted.
“My government has now approved Queensland’s first vanadium mine – Saint Elmo – near Julia Creek,” she told the event in Brisbane.
“I don’t just want to see vanadium mined in Queensland, I want to see onshore processing and manufacturing of vanadium batteries as well.
“I want to see Queensland’s minerals used in renewable batteries across the nation and globally.
“To further support battery manufacturing in Queensland, my government will develop a Queensland Battery Industry Strategy.”
The Premier also celebrated the state government’s support of not-so-green resource projects in the past year, including the restart of the Millennium coal mine and the expansion of the Isaac Plains coal mine.
“My government backs mining and resources jobs, and we back our regional communities,” she said.