Legendary whistleblower, Jim Leggate, will launch the new book on mining and the Queensland environment written by environmental campaigner, Drew Hutton, tomorrow (Thursday 28th).
The book is called Mining the Queensland Way and the launch will take place at Souths Leagues Club, Jane Street, West End beginning at 7 p.m.
The book examines the chronic failures of the state's system of environmental regulation and of successive governments - both Labor and conservative - to oblige mining companies to implement the conditions of their environmental authorities, beginning in the era of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and ending with the current conflicts over the expansion of coal and coal seam gas mining.
The book contains reports of one scandal after another as mining companies used their influence with governments to avoid their environmental commitments, especially on rehabilitation. Much of this information was gained from insiders in the bureaucracy and the political system.
Mr Hutton said Jim Leggate was one of his heroes and he was honoured to have Jim Leggate launch his book.
Mr Leggate was an environmental officer in the Queensland Mines Department up until the mid-nineties. In 1991 he compiled a list of 41 mining projects which were out of compliance. This list described the extent of their non-compliance and included some of the biggest names in the corporate world. This was studiously ignored by all levels of government, the Ombudsman and the CJC and, ultimately, Jim was forced out of the public service.
Even though Jim Leggate now lives in Tasmania, he still works tirelessly to persuade governments to address the issue of public rehabilitation liability, which is now in the billions of dollars and to make the enforcement of environmental regulation a reality in Queensland instead of a smokescreen.
Mining the Queensland Way is available as an e-book at http://www.lockthegate.org.au and in limited copies in print format.
Drew Hutton and Jim Leggate will be available for interview from 9 a.m. Thursday.
Contact: Drew Hutton 0428 487 110