The Lock the Gate Alliance today congratulated Queensland Premier Campbell Newman whose government yesterday ruled out approving the Acland and Felton coal mines on the state's Darling Downs and called on him to make science and balanced development the key themes of his term of office.
Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, said it was obvious Mr Campbell was going to make quick and decisive changes to the way things worked in Queensland and he was hoping Lock the Gate could work with the new government instead of going to war with it, as they had to do with the previous Labor government.
"Mr Newman has made a good start. The Acland and Felton projects should never get approval because they are on good agricultural land and in closely settled areas. Such places are not suitable for high-impact mining," Mr Hutton said.
"However, we would like to see Mr Newman expand the percentage of the state covered now by the category of strategic cropping land to that of good farm land which will occupy about 4 per cent of the state.
"This will ensure places like the hilly but fertile South Burnett and the highly productive Wandoan-Taroom regions are protected.
Mr Hutton also said he was pleased to hear the new government would be concerned to base their decisions on mining on good science.
"The key part of the LNP's policy affecting rural Queensland is their strategic regional land use policy. If this process accurately identifies our best farm land, vulnerable parts of our underground water systems and areas of high conservation value and keeps high-impact resource extraction away from these areas, then that will be a healthy outcome for all," Mr Hutton said.
"However, if he continues the policies of the discredited Labor government and allows mining companies to do whatever they like, then he will find the gate firmly locked against him."
Mr Hutton said he would be seeking a meeting with the new government as soon as possible.