The State Government’s proposed ‘one-stop shop’ for mining companies further erodes the rights of Queenslanders, says the Lock the Gate Alliance.
Lock the Gate’s spokesman, Drew Hutton said the LNP’s Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 would not protect most landowners and communities against mining companies.
“The public loses the right to challenge mining proposals in 90 per cent of cases. There will be no notification in 90 per cent of cases so the first neighbours might hear about a mine is when drilling starts next door. It’s just outrageous,” he said.
Minister Andrew Cripps’s claim that the changes provided greater clarity about their rights and obligations for gaining access to private land near residences and other infrastructure was “misleading at best,” Mr Hutton said.
“The proposed changes will ban communities and neighbours effected by nearby mines from objecting about what will happen to the health, property and livelihoods,” he said.
“Minister Cripps and the Newman government are trying to isolate landholders and make them powerless against the might of mining companies.”
Mr Hutton said the proposal should be seen in light of the Newman government’s wider agenda of eroding ordinary Queenslanders’ rights, while giving more power to big business.
“The Newman government wants no dissent from everyday people who don’t want to be rail-roaded by the rich and powerful.
“The government’s bikie legislation, the changes to the CMC, the electoral funding laws and the requirement of ID for voting are just some examples of the clamour for power regardless of the consequences.”
“Communities must be allowed to protect themselves from the damaging impacts of coal and gas that this Bill will allow.
“The Queensland Government must abandon its plans to undermine the community’s democratic right to participate in decision making on projects that put at risk our land and water, and affect us all.”