A new video shows Queensland’s Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch telling a room full of people she has shed tears over the approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, while also saying current environmental legislation is flawed.
- The mine is not named in the recording, but sources confirmed the speech was made about Adani
- The new video sheds more light on Minister Leeanne Enoch’s feelings towards the mine and also airs criticism of environmental legislation
- The footage appears to contradict comments Ms Enoch made about another video that emerged on Monday
The comments were in response to someone heckling Ms Enoch.
“I don’t want to diminish anybody’s feelings or thoughts with regards to this decision,” Ms Enoch told an audience of hundreds at an environmental awards night in Cairns.
“Let me tell you, me personally, there have been some tears shed on this — very much.”
The recording comes after another video showed Ms Enoch telling a member of an activist group on Saturday she was “devastated” about the project.
The controversial mine is not named in the recording of the awards night, but sources confirmed the speech was made about Adani, and Ms Enoch is heard referring to a project approved by the state’s coordinator-general in 2014.
The comments, made during an address at the Cassowary Awards on Saturday night, appear to contradict comments Ms Enoch made after the first video emerged on Monday.
In a statement, Ms Enoch clarified she was not referring to her own feelings, but was instead devastated over the project’s impact on traditional owners.
The new recording sheds more light on Ms Enoch’s feelings towards the mine, and also shows her criticising the environmental legislation that saw it get the green light.
Environmental legislation flawed, Minister says
In the video, Ms Enoch also criticised current environmental legislation and vowed to defend the environmental regulator.
“The role of the Environment and Science Department has been to uphold the environmental conditions that were applied to that particular project,” she said.
“There is no legislative power for a politician to intervene in environmental conditions — that is an absolute flaw in the legislation.”
The room erupted into applause as Ms Enoch told the room she would devote time to working on those flaws.
But she also defended the role of the environmental regulator and vowed to “fight every day” to ensure it worked effectively.
“There’s many people that don’t like the outcome that the regulator arrived at, and that is where we’re at,” she said.
“The story now of course — my role is to ensure that the regulator can absolutely hold every single company in this state to account.
“My role will always be to uphold the regulator, and I will fight every day to make sure that the regulator is able to do what they can do in this state — what they must do in this state — and hold those companies to account.”
‘Every Cabinet minister endorses the process’
Ms Enoch had final environmental approvals taken out of her hands last month when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk asked the Queensland coordinator-general to oversee the process in try and speed things up.
When asked about Ms Enoch’s “devastated” comments in the first video yesterday, Ms Palaszczuk said her Government was united over the approvals process for the mine.
“Let be very clear, every Cabinet minister endorses the process, and that process was for the coordinator-general to set those timeframes,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Now we want to see the jobs, I think everyone in regional Queensland wants to see the jobs.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan denied the controversial project had split the party.
“Not at all — we’ve always been on the same page when it comes to this project, that it has to stack up financially and environmentally, and there has to be a process followed,” Mr Ryan said.
“All ministers, in fact, the Government supports the process and that process was followed.”