Today's announcement of the state government's strategic cropping land legislation has no good news for most farmers.
The legislation has all the weaknesses of previous discussion papers. These include:
- failure to include coal seam gas a an activity prohibited on cropping land criteria like a maximum slope that will exclude much good cropping land as well as excellent beef cattle country like Wandoan
- no mention of buffers so that we could be left with a patchwork of paddocks surrounded by open cut coal mines failure to stop projects that are already well into the planning stage.
"This legislation is aimed at persuading the people of Queensland that the government actually cares about protecting good agricultural land when actually, it will be lucky to stop more than one coal mine.
"There is only one proposed coal mine I can think of that will probably not go ahead as a result of this legislation.
"Another 30 or so open cut coal mines will still go ahead across the Darling Downs.
"There is no way this is going to stop or even slow the protest movement against coal and coal seam gas. It is nothing but smoke and mirrors and the lock the gate movement will continue to grow."