Energy Minister Cripps gags objections to mine projects in last minute change to environmental laws
Mackay Conservation Group has condemned laws passed by Queensland Parliament at five minutes to midnight on Tuesday night that strip rights from community groups and most landholders to object to large mining projects, such as coal mining projects in the Galilee Basin.
‘This is completely underhand and represents gross deception of the people of Queensland by Energy Minister Cripps.
‘These laws were not debated in Parliament, or given any chance for public comment.
‘The Newman government had been criticised for undermining the judiciary, and this is yet another example of this.
This year we’ve seen landholders from Western Queensland exposing the flawed water assessments of mining companies in court. Under this new legislation, those court cases wouldn’t be possible.
The Land Court has expressed concerns about what these mega mines will mean for the availability of precious water in the Queensland outback. In response the Queensland government on Tuesday gagged landholders and the courts.
‘Mining companies are given now carte blanche to pollute, take water and destroy habitat without any judicial oversight for large coordinated projects.
‘Yet again we see the influence of the mining industry over Queensland politics.
In Parliament on Tuesday night Minister Cripps repeatedly assured Parliament that key objection rights would remain. Then literally at five minutes to midnight, after the debate had concluded, he changed the law to strip those rights away for the biggest projects.
‘It’s clear that Cripps has misled the Parliament and the people. It’s time the Newman government was held to account for these actions.