Gillard requires a swing of about 25% in Queensland to save a single federal seat and without at least 8 seats in Queensland they can not win nationally. This is certainly not the way to get it.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has written to state premiers reaffirming her plan to slash green tape on major projects, further isolating Queensland over the approval of a $6.4 billion coal project owned by Gina Rinehart and India’s GVK.Ms Gillard said Queensland’s actions threatened the entire state-federal agreement to streamline environmental vetting of projects.
“It is not economically efficient for different states to pursue different, ad hoc approaches to environmental approvals,” the Prime Minister told the Premiers in a letter.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke will meet with Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney today to try to resolve the row over approvals for the Alpha Coal project in the Galilee Basin, which has been frozen by the federal government.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the Liberal-National Party government was still waiting to hear from Mr Burke about what it needed to do to get the project across the line.
In a separate move to develop the coal-rich region, Mr Seeney said the government would back a plan by GVK and Mrs Rinehart to build a 500 kilometre rail line to the Abbot Point coal terminal.
Mr Burke stopped the clock on the Alpha Coal project on Tuesday and threatened to scrap the bilateral agreement between Queensland and the federal government to streamline approvals.
In a bid to appease concerns from the other states about the removal of “green tape” on big projects, Ms Gillard wrote to the Premiers to say the federal government was committed to changes to national environmental laws that would allow states to carry out environmental assessments required under federal law.