Premier Newman: Stick to your word and protect farmland

Published: September 17, 2013

The Lock the Gate Alliance today called on the Premier and State Government to stick to their word and protect strategic cropping land from coal and unconventional gas mining.

The Government is currently reviewing the Strategic Cropping Land Act and creating new Regional Plans for the Darling Downs and Central Queensland. In their current form, both of these pieces of legislation contradict LNP pre-election promises to “ensure there will be no open cut mining on strategic cropping land; and not allow underground mining, coal seam gas activity or other development on strategic cropping land if it is likely to have a significant, adverse impact on the productive capacity of that land to produce food and fibre in the future.”

(Source: The CanDo LNP Agriculture Strategy http://lnp.org.au/state-election-2012/grow-a-four-pillar-economy/the-cando-lnp-agriculture-strategy/)

“The LNP Government promised last year to protect strategic cropping land and double food production in Queensland by 2040. Now they are opening up large areas of prime agricultural land to coal and gas mining, which will ruin any chance we have of growing a prosperous agricultural industry here in Queensland,” Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland Coordinator Hannah Aulby said today.

"Around 50,000 hectares of land subject to mining leases has been removed from the strategic cropping map in the first 18 months. In Springsure Creek, in the heart of the Central Queensland Strategic Cropping Land Protection Area, a coal company is conducting an experiment to undermine cropping land, despite well-known risks of irreversible damage from subsidence. If we want to double food production, we're going the wrong way about it."

“Queensland landholders are being lied to. The Strategic Cropping Land Act and the Regional Plans prove that the LNP Government is protecting the interests of the mining companies, not farmers. Allowing mining companies to dig up our prime agricultural land is unacceptable and should be prohibited - without excuses of ‘exceptional circumstances’ or ‘co-existence’.”

“47 strategic cropping areas have already been approved for mining in the first 18 months. All of these are important for food production, and must be reviewed. The LNP Government must refuse the remaining 35 strategic cropping areas that are currently being assessed as coal mining leases.”

“It’s time for Premier Newman to stop breaking promises and start supporting Queensland farmers.”

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