Queensland is to become the first Australian state to have a mineral emblem – and it’s a big chunk of bituminous coal from the Bowen Basin.
A beaming Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk unveiled the new mineral emblem outside the Queensland Parliament this morning (top picture).
The announcement dovetailed with looming state ALP policy changes designed to show the Labor administration and government generally acknowledged the importance of coal to the state.
“My government loves coal, coal mining and coal mining industry workers. Coal has been an intrinsic and vital part of this state’s prosperity, remains so now and will be long into the future, at least until the mines are all flooded,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“So it’s only natural that we honour King Coal by making it the state’s mineral emblem. As I’ve said, Queensland Labor loves coal.”
The Premier said the coal mineral emblem would take the place of the state’s fauna emblem, the koala, which had been so recognised since 1971.
“With koala numbers declining rapidly, it’s probably for the best any way to get in early and remove its status now,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Cooktown Orchid, the official floral emblem of Queensland since 1959, would remain in place “for the time being’”.
But chatter in George Street is that this emblem might also be axed, with the state’s mineral emblems expanded to three to also include permian and coking coal chunks as well. Both also abound in the Bowen Basin.
The Queensland Premier said that although the next state election was still more than a year away, she was determined to ensure “the amazing men and women who work in our coal mining sector” knew where the government stood.
“Have I mentioned before how much Queensland Labor loves coal,” she said, before giving the state’s new mineral emblem an affectionate kiss for the cameras.