Tuesday, 13 November 2012 09:36
Queensland miners and Greenpeace are at loggerheads over the future of the coal industry but neither side has done anything to initiate talks with the other.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) say Greenpeace is trying to drive a wedge into coal mining communities, while the activists say miners don't care about communities who rely on the Great Barrier Reef.
About 50 Greenpeace activists dressed as creatures from the reef protested outside a coal mining conference in Brisbane on Monday.
They say plans for at least nine new coal mines in central Queensland, showcased at the Galilee Basin Coal Conference, would destroy the reef.
Speaking at the conference on Monday, QRC CEO Michael Roche told miners Greenpeace's anti-coal campaign would destroy coal mining communities.
"Regional communities understand their long-term prosperity relies on the economic diversity that the minerals and energy sector is delivering," Mr Roche said.
"Greenpeace have no interest in the future of these communities."
Greenpeace spokeswoman Louise Matthiesson hit back, saying miners were focused only on coal mining communities at the expense of all others.
"There's a whole string of communities that rely on the Great Barrier Reef for their prosperity, what does the QRC have to say about them?" she asked.
Each group is making claims about the other, but Ms Matthiesson said it was "fair call" to say neither side had made much effort to talk.
"I think it's sad that the QRC and Greenpeace are 1000 miles apart on the future of coal," she said.
"There needs to be some difficult discussions.
"I think the time will come."
Queensland Resources Council
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