Lock the Gate Alliance congratulates the Queensland Government for moving an urgent Bill in Parliament tonight to restore the rights of landholders and community members to object to major mining projects and to have those objections heard in the Land Court.
The Bill will achieve this by revoking s47D of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, thus restoring objections rights to projects classified as 'coordinated projects'.
The Bill will enable landholders and community groups who are opposed to the Acland Stage 3 coal mine to have their objections considered by the court, a right lost late last year after the LNP Government moved an amendment at five minutes to midnight which removed those rights.
The urgency motion to bring on the Bill was successful, with 46 votes in favour, and the Bill will be debated in the State Parliament later this week.
"This is a really important day for Queensland, and a particularly important day for the people of the Darling Downs who may yet have the chance to tell the court about the impacts the Acland Stage 3 coal project will have on their water resources, agricultural businesses and health," said Drew Hutton, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance.
"We want to personally congratulate the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, for her leadership on this issue and also thank the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham, for bringing this important measure before the Parliament.
“The government’s action tonight honours a significant election promise to restore objection rights and it’s wonderful to see politicians sticking to their word.
"We also greatly appreciate the stance taken by the Katter Party in supporting the urgency motion and for Peter Wellington’s encouraging words outside Parliament. (See: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7har2dxpgmzw7g5/Peter%20Wellington%20speech.mp4?dl=0)
"We are, however, incredibly disappointed that the LNP voted against the motion and continues to oppose the basic right of landholders to object to mining projects.
"It seems extraordinary that the LNP has learnt absolutely nothing from the election and is still intent on kowtowing to mining giants at the expense of farming communities. It is a betrayal that many farming communities will never forget, or forgive," he said.
In order to fully restore community objection rights that were removed by the LNP, a number of other amendments will be required in the following months to also ensure rights to object to other mining projects that are not designated as 'coordinated projects'.