The Lock the Gate Alliance believes the frustration felt by resigned Liberal National Party MP, Ray Hopper, over the Newman government’s policies on coal seam gas are only the tip of the iceberg for the rural community.
Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, said, while many voters at the last election simply wanted to get rid of the Labor government, many would vote against the LNP at the next election unless it altered direction with regard to protecting vital assets from mining and coal seam gas.
These assets included good farm land, underground water, the health and amenity of communities and important environmental areas.
Mr Hutton said he believed Ray Hopper would have been especially angry at the Newman government’s support for both the Arrow Energy coal seam gas project at Cecil Plains and the re-jigged Acland open cut coal mine – both in his electorate of Condamine.
“The Newman government has done nothing substantial to mitigate the impacts of the resources sector and, in many ways, have been even more gung-ho about its development than the previous Labor government,” Mr Hutton said.
“They simply don’t care about such impacts as the alienation of good farm land, the natural environment and people’s health.
“The Newman government sees such impacts as collateral damage in its quest for a rapid flush of funds from royalties.
“Given this record over the last nine months it is inevitable that any member representing rural electorates with coal or coal seam gas intrusion will think seriously about leaving the LNP.”