In his inaugural speech as the premier of Queensland, Steven Miles reveals his ambitious plan to reduce emissions.
Steven Miles, the new premier of Queensland, has announced an ambitious plan to reduce emissions in the state during his first speech. This decision has been applauded by environmental organizations.
On Friday, Annastacia Palaszczuk’s newly anointed successor raised the state’s target to 75% by 2035. Queensland had previously promised just 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The previous objective was even lower than the targets set by Scott Morrison in 2021.
The state’s emissions reduction targets, previously considered among the weakest in the country, have now become one of the most ambitious, according to environmental groups.
Miles stated that our trade allies, specifically those in Europe, North America, and a large portion of Asia, are requesting responsible behavior from the countries they conduct business with.
Responsible emission targets are crucial for employment in our current industries such as mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
This is crucial for generating additional employment opportunities in emerging industries such as hydrogen, essential minerals, and environmentally-friendly airplane fuel.
On Friday, Miles mentioned that the government has denied permission for Clive Palmer’s Waratah coal-fired power station.
He stated that if this project were approved, it would be considered one of the leading 100 sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.
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The approved renewable energy initiatives in central Queensland far exceed the potential electricity output of this project.
Miles stated that the goal was achievable due to the state’s energy and employment strategy – a $62 billion program aimed at increasing publicly owned renewable energy, which he deemed “the most ambitious of any government in Australia”.
The premier’s inaugural speech included a goal that was highlighted by environmental organizations in attendance.
According to Ariane Wilkinson, the senior manager of WWF Australia, the new goal for Queensland is a significant improvement, moving the state closer to the top of the list. It also surpasses the 2035 target set by New South Wales.
The WWF has advocated for a reduction target of 90%. Victoria’s goal to reduce emissions by 75% to 80% by 2035 and achieve net zero by 2045 is similar to Queensland’s, despite Queensland having less reliance on the resources sector.
According to Gavan McFadzean, program manager of the Australian Conservation Foundation, this commitment demonstrates that Steven Miles is prioritizing correctly.
According to McFadzean, the inclusion of fugitive emissions from Queensland’s coal and gas mines in the target marks the end for domestic energy production from these sources. This also paves the way for a necessary shift towards Australia’s fossil fuel exports.
The Lock the Gate Alliance stated that meeting the new goal would not be possible if any additional coal mines were authorized. A ruling on Whitehaven’s Winchester South coal mine is expected next week, and Queensland currently has the highest emissions in the country.
The new leader pledges a “new perspective.”
Miles addressed Labor supporters and community organizations at the Executive Building on William Street in Brisbane, vowing to take a revitalized and innovative approach.
He rolled out a new plan for urban growth in Brisbane, called ShapingSEQ, and announced a new consultative body, the Queensland Leaders’ Forum “to bring together business, industry, community and unions in the one room to work together”.
Miles pledged to make opportunity a key focus of his government, echoing the previous Premier Peter Beattie’s “Smart State” slogan from two decades ago.
During his speech, Miles shared his personal experience of reaching the top position. He discussed the dedication and effort his grandparents and parents put in to pave the way for his generation’s success.
He was the first in his family to attend university, despite being the child of a Golden Circle factory worker and a public service safety inspector. This opportunity was made possible by his scholarship win.
He stated that strong Labor governments provide individuals with the opportunity to improve their families’ lives.
My government will prioritize giving back to hard-working Queenslanders and creating opportunities for our children.
Roz Morgan-Hood, the English teacher for his 11th year at St. Paul’s school, observed the speech from the crowd. She expressed no surprise at her previous student’s success, recalling him as a diligent and focused student.
“I am extremely proud of the speech given today. It was truly wonderful. He has put in a lot of hard work and dedication, always staying focused,” she stated.
On Friday morning, Miles and the deputy premier, Cameron Dick, were selected without opposition by the Labor caucus. They were then officially appointed to their positions by Governor Jeannette Young at Government House in the afternoon.
On Monday, it is expected that the new government will announce the appointment of 10 ministers and assistant ministers as part of a significant cabinet reshuffle.
The previous leader Annastacia Paluszczuk, who unexpectedly stepped down on Sunday after serving nine years in office, will officially leave parliament on January 31st.