Lock the Gate is calling on all parties to prioritise putting in place long term protections for Queensland’s land, water and food growing areas, in the upcoming state election announced this morning.
Lock the Gate Coordinator Vicki Perrin, said the upcoming state election will be a test for all parties to show they are serious about listening to Queenslanders and getting on with protecting water and food growing regions from coal and gas projects.
“Water and food growing areas such as the Great Artesian Basin, the Fraser Coast, the Darling Downs and the Channel Country are currently at risk of invasion and destruction from mining and gas companies.
“Voters in the highly contested Wide Bay Burnett region are dead opposed to fracking gasfields and demand candidates come out with a clear party position to permanently protect the region from fracking.
“Mining and gas companies have been taking everything they want, paying us a pittance for the privilege and then leaving their mess behind for Queenslanders to clean up.
“Our government needs to listen to the voices of Queenslanders and stop allowing mining and gas fracking companies to undermine our democracy,” said Vicki Perrin.
Scarlett Squire from Lock the Gate said, “The QLD government is yet to decide on the future of the Acland coal mine expansion in the Darling Downs despite the Land Court recommending rejection and despite polls demonstrating strong voter support for protecting the food growing region from open cut coal.
“The recommended rejection was based on the mines potential impacts on some of QLD’s most important cropping land and groundwater, impacts that would be felt for generations to come.
“The government needs to provide assurance for the community before the election by following the land court recommendation to reject the Acland stage 3 expansion,” said Scarlett Squire.
Lock the Gate is asking parties to commit to;
1. Protect our land, food production and water by legislating no go zones for gasfields in the Fraser Coast/Wide Bay Burnett and Outback Western Rivers and permanently protect Priority Agricultural Areas from coal mining and CSG.
2. Stop risking people’s health by giving landholders and Traditional Owners the right to say ‘no’ to mining and gas and a 10km buffer from homes to coal mines and major gas infrastructure, and 2km buffer from homes to all gas wells.
3. Make the miners clean up their mess by rehabilitating as they go and don’t let them leave huge voids, waste dumps and a permanently scarred landscape.
4. Ensure a sustainable economy by increasing royalty payments to 15% and ensure royalties are invested in the regions impacted by resource development.