Lock the Gate Alliance has accused the Queensland Government of blatantly breaching its 2015 election promises after $3.6M was allocated in the budget this week for unconventional gas drilling in Western Rivers regions, which Labor had previously promised to protect.
In January 2015, Shadow Environment Minister Jackie Trad committed to “Working with traditional owners, stakeholders and communities to legislate protections for Queensland's pristine rivers from large-scale industrial operations."
However, since the election the Queensland Government has released vast areas of the Western Rivers for gas exploration.
Queensland Labor are now subsidising new gas exploration in the very areas they promised to protect, including the pristine rivers and floodplains of the Georgina River Basin which flows into Lake Eyre.
"This is a flagrant breach of the Queensland Governments promises to protect the pristine rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin," said Ellie Smith, a coordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.
"This funding puts at risk some of the last intact desert rivers in the world and a vibrant export beef industry.
"Subsidising shale gas companies to frack our pristine rivers is a shameful step from a government that promised us they would do better.
"This is a backflip of Campbell Newman proportions – it’s a terrible abdication of responsibility because Qld Labor have still not delivered the legal protections they promised, and now they are pushing full steam ahead to support the expansion of the gas industry.
"The Queensland Government needs to urgently change direction, and deliver what they promised – the preservation of outback rivers, our Queensland farm business and our high quality food production," she said.