Mining Scorecard: Independents & Minor Parties Stand Up for Land & Water

Published: January 27, 2015

The results are in on Lock the Gate Alliance’s candidates’ survey for the Queensland State Election - with the independents and minor parties blitzing the field and leaving the two major parties in their wake when it came to protecting land and water from unsafe mining.

Lock the Gate’s President, Drew Hutton, said the survey showed that the LNP was completely out of touch with community sentiment on mining in rural and regional areas, and that the ALP still had a long way to go, even though it had promised to reverse some of the LNP's worst policy excesses.


Lock the Gate surveyed each of the parties for their policies on coal and gas mining, and also surveyed independent candidates in a number of key electorates. 

The survey included questions on people’s rights to object to mining, the protection of farmland and water and the need for clean politics. The full survey can be viewed here.

"The parties that scored extremely well included the Katter Australia Party, the Greens and the Palmer United Party - who all have a  record of taking action in either state or Federal Parliament on this issue - plus One Nation," said Drew Hutton, president of Lock the Gate Alliance.  

"The independents also scored very highly on the report.  Independents such as Peter Wellington in Nicklin, Alex Douglas in Gaven, and Carl Judge in Yeerongpilly have been the sole courageous voices of opposition in the Queensland Parliament to the State Government's capitulation to the mining industry. 

"Along with Ray Hopper, who is running for the Katter Australia Party this election, they have been the conscience of the Queensland Parliament when it comes to protecting land and water.

"Whilst not holding any seats in the Queensland Parliament, the Greens have been the most active of the parties in extra-parliamentary campaigning." 

Mr Hutton said the ABC Vote Compass showed 85 per cent of respondents from both the city and country areas agreed that ‘Landowners should be able to prevent mining companies from operating on their property’.

“The LNP is completely out-of-step with its constituents on so many levels, and the ALP, while having improved somewhat, is still a long way off the mark,” he said.

“It’s about time they started listening to the people, rather than the mining companies.”

Mr Hutton said the ALP had promised to commission a cumulative water balance for the Galilee Basin coal mines prior to any construction, and to reverse the LNP policies of giving unlimited water to coal miners for free and removing community appeal rights.

He said a commitment to a departmental study into the mismanagement of Gladstone Harbour was also a good thing, but it should be upgraded to a properly independent investigation. 

“But the ALP has a long way to go on protecting Queenslanders from coal seam gas and mining compared to the minor parties and independents,” Mr Hutton said.

"Prior to the election, we'd like to see the ALP unambiguously commit to overturning the Acland coal mine expansion and to fully protecting Strategic Cropping Land from coal mining and coal seam gas with a strict prohibition.

“The LNP didn’t bother responding to this survey, which reveals the extraordinary contempt they have for community concerns on this issue.  We can only assume they will continue putting land, water and human health at risk with their reckless mining policies if they are re-elected.

"We're encouraging people to vote for change this election, because it is desperately needed, and to be informed by our scorecard when they cast their vote by numbering every box."

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