Bligh government’s ‘green corridor’ plan mostly a sham: Lock the Gate

Published: March 01, 2012

The Lock the Gate Alliance believes the only new and substantial environmental protections emerging from yesterday's 'green corridor' announcement by Premier, Anna Bligh, is for the far western rivers.

Everything else would seem to be recycling old projects and staying well clear of any mining tenements.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said the biggest spin was contained in sections 3 and 4 of the Premier's four-section plan.

"The descriptions of the corridor are quite vague, and I would be keen to be corrected, but it seems that section 3 of the plan follows the Great Dividing Range south from the Carnarvon National Park.

"This would take the corridor through three already existing national parks – Carnarvon, Expedition and Palmgrove – then on to the Barakula State Forest which has been planned as a national park for the last five years at least.

"The other undoubted attraction for the government in this section is that it does not encompass any coal or coal seam gas mining tenements.

"The plan would skirt the whole sub-region around Injune where there are many gas wells and the beautiful Arcadia Valley which will be sacrificed to both coal and gas.

"The western Darling Downs will also miss out with this plan. This is a tragedy because the western hardwood eucalypt forests extending from Kumbarilla Lane, west of Dalby, to the town of Condamine – the only extended forest area for hundreds of kilometres in either direction – will be wiped out by coal seam gas development.

"Then section 4 of the plan would seem to follow the great Dividing Range to the border where it would neatly avoid coal seam gas and coal mining tenements in the Scenic Rim and then run east through the national parks along the Queensland-New South Wales border to the coast.

"This does not put at risk any mining or coal seam gas proposals.

"Apart from the protection from resource extraction afforded the Lake Eyre Basin rivers, this whole scheme is a sham.

"This is one environmentalist who is not impressed," Mr Hutton said.

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