Newman Government dealings on Brisbane Valley quarry an intolerable abuse of power

Published: June 24, 2014

The intervention by Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, which allegedly resulted in a Brisbane Valley quarrying company avoiding prosecution for possible illegal resource extraction is an intolerable abuse of power.

 

The ABC last night reported that, for years, the operation owned by Karreman Brothers Quarries at Harlin was, according to a letter to local landowners from the Premier, acting without a necessary permit and was, therefore, illegal.

 

Consequently, the Department of Natural Resources wrote to the company advising they were considering legal action but allowing the company to continue operating until the investigation was completed.

 

However, following a meeting between Mr Seeney, Mr Dick Karreman and public servants from the Department of Natural Resources, this investigation was stopped. Bureaucrats were then allegedly told to amend the State's Water Act so that quarrying could be extended to the lower bank, the legalisation of the company's activities was backdated four years and the company was allowed to continue for another five years without a permit.

 

The ABC reported the company had donated $75,000 to the LNP.

 

The Lock the Gate Alliance has called this situation "scandalous" but said Queensland had reached a stage where the government could not be held accountable for anything it did, however culpable.

 

"The Newman Government has made the Crime and Misconduct Commission and the state's electoral donations laws unworkable, has nobbled the Parliamentary CMC Committee and made it impossible for anyone other than a directly affected landowner to object to or have appeal rights on a Mining Lease," Mr Hutton said.

 

"This sort of government for mates, especially those in the resources sector, has not been seen to anything like this extent since the days of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

 

"It also makes it impossible for anyone to believe that the Newman Government will act in any sort of transparent and accountable way when it has any decision to make on mining and that is a tragedy in a state where coal and coal seam gas mining are moving into completely inappropriate areas.

 

"Democracy in Queensland is under serious threat from the likes of Jeff Seeney."

 

 

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