Minister misleads the parliament and the people with late night amendments to mines bill
In an 11th hour move the Queensland Government has
silenced objections to mining projects across the state giving open
slather to Indian coal company Adani to develop the Galilee Basin into
one of the largest coal precincts in the world.
President of the
Lock the Gate Alliance Drew Hutton said the move was an outrageous abuse
of the parliamentary system and one of the most undemocratic acts the
Queensland parliament had ever witnessed.
“The amendment was in direct contradiction to Mines Minister Andrew
Cripps’ speech in parliament earlier in the evening and his assurances
in the lead up to the bill that people would still be able to object to
major mining projects,” Mr Hutton said.
“The Minister has clearly misled the people of Queensland and the parliament.
“The government changed the Minerals and Energy Resources Act on
Tuesday to remove the right to object to smaller mining projects under
the guise of reducing green tape but at five minutes to midnight added
another amendment that extended the changes to all mining projects
“The changes give the power of decision to a single man, the
Coordinator General at whose whim the community’s right to question the
environmental impact of massive new mines projects, like those in the
Galilee Basin will now rest.
“This means that if the Coordinator General decides there are enough
existing environmental conditions on a project no one can object.
“All community concern about issues of health, environment and land use conflicts relating to mining projects has been gagged.
“The first beneficiary of this gag will be Adani and the company's
plans to develop a series of mega mines in the Galilee Basin. Adani has
been lobbying the federal and Queensland Governments hard to get the
environmental approvals for this development. They must be doing
handsprings at this latest development.
“These mines will impact heavily on communities in central Queensland
and on places of iconic value such as the Great Barrier Reef.
“The mega mines also threaten the Great Artesian Basin but no longer
will anyone be allowed to object to projects like this. We have all been
“This is one of the most underhand and undemocratic moves the
Queensland parliament has ever witnessed. It is the sort of thing you
might expect from a despotic regime in a banana republic, not a
developed nation with a well-established democratic tradition.
“The public has a right to know how and why these last minute amendments were introduced and at whose call.”
Further information: Drew Hutton 0428 487 110
Kate Dennehy 0419 432 624