Queensland premier announces plan to cut emissions

In his inaugural speech as Queensland’s new premier, Steven Miles unveiled an ambitious emissions reduction plan for the state, earning praise from environmental groups. Miles announced an elevated target of a 75% reduction in emissions by 2035, a significant increase from the previous commitment of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This move positions Queensland among the states with the most ambitious emissions reduction goals in Australia.

Miles emphasized the importance of responsible emissions targets for maintaining and creating jobs in industries like mining, agriculture, and manufacturing. He highlighted the role of such targets in fostering new industries of the future, including hydrogen, critical minerals, and sustainable aircraft fuel.

The premier’s announcement also included the denial of approval for Clive Palmer’s Waratah coal-fired power station, citing its potential environmental impact. Miles underscored the significance of the state’s energy and jobs plan, a $62 billion initiative for expanding publicly owned green energy, which he dubbed the most ambitious in Australia.

Environmental groups welcomed the announcement, with WWF Australia noting that Queensland’s new target surpasses those of several other states. The Australian Conservation Foundation and Lock the Gate Alliance praised the commitment, with the latter cautioning against approving new coal mines to achieve the emissions target.

Miles’s speech went beyond environmental matters, outlining plans for urban growth in Brisbane and introducing the Queensland Leaders’ Forum to foster collaboration among business, industry, community, and unions. Reflecting on his personal journey, Miles emphasized the role of strong Labor governments in providing opportunities for hardworking individuals and creating a better future for families.

His election as premier, along with Deputy Premier Cameron Dick, was unopposed by the Labor caucus. The new government is set to announce a major cabinet reshuffle on Monday, marking the beginning of a new era as Steven Miles assumes leadership in Queensland.

Steven Miles, in his first address as Queensland’s premier, not only showcased his commitment to environmental initiatives but also outlined broader governance plans. The elevation of emissions reduction targets to 75% by 2035 marked a significant departure from the state’s earlier goals and positioned Queensland as a leader in sustainable practices. Miles’s decision to deny approval for the Waratah coal-fired power station further underlined his dedication to environmental responsibility.

Environmental groups, including WWF Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation, praised Queensland’s heightened emissions reduction targets, acknowledging the state’s shift from a laggard to a frontrunner. However, Lock the Gate Alliance sounded a note of caution, stressing that achieving the new target might be jeopardized if new coal mines were approved, pointing to the upcoming decision on the Winchester South coal mine.

Miles’s governance vision extended beyond environmental matters, encompassing urban growth plans for Brisbane and the establishment of the Queensland Leaders’ Forum. This collaborative body aims to bring together diverse stakeholders, including business, industry, community, and unions, to work collectively toward common goals. These initiatives reflect Miles’s commitment to a holistic approach to governance, integrating environmental sustainability with economic and social considerations.

The premier’s personal journey, shared in his speech, highlighted the values of hard work, dedication, and opportunity that have shaped his perspective. This narrative resonated with the broader theme of creating a better future for Queenslanders, aligning with the Labor tradition of empowering individuals and families through robust government support.

Miles’s election, along with Deputy Premier Cameron Dick, was uncontested within the Labor caucus, underscoring a unified approach within the party. As the new government prepares to announce a significant cabinet reshuffle, Queensland is poised for a renewed focus on sustainability, collaboration, and opportunity under Steven Miles’s leadership. The premier’s ambitious environmental agenda sets the stage for a transformative period, positioning Queensland as a trailblazer in the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future.

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