Lock the Gate Alliance is demanding the Palaszczuk Government release the long overdue response to stakeholder consultations concerning the protection of Lake Eyre Basin rivers and floodplains from new oil and gas projects, and to stand firm in the face of mining industry lobbying.
The call comes as media reports the premier's office has delayed the release of the regulatory impact statement (RIS) due to pressure from mining companies.
“It’s outrageous that the Palaszczuk Government has reportedly delayed strengthening protections for the Lake Eyre Basin after behind the scenes lobbying from Anglo American,” said Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Ellen Roberts.
“The focus of the consultation was about oil and gas. Anglo American was represented by the Queensland Resources Council throughout the process, who did not raise the issue of minerals mining during the months of consultation. This is a distraction which will delay important regulation of the gas industry.
“We estimate gas companies hold tenements covering more than 800,000 hectares across the Lake Eyre Basin. The threat oil and gas projects pose to these pristine and productive floodplains is imminent. The Palaszczuk Government must end this delay, make good on its election promises, and protect the floodplains from oil and gas.
“The Palaszczuk Government has historically refused to implement proper regulation of the gas industry in Queensland, with more than 10,000 unconventional gas wells now in production across the state. This must change. The Palaszczuk Government must not sacrifice the pristine rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin to this insidious industry.
“The existing protections for the area, and the ban on open cut mining, must be retained. However, the consultation concerned how to regulate gas, and the RIS should be released without delay.”
The Regulatory Impact Statement was prepared after many months of consultation with Traditional Owners, pastoralists, conservationists and the mining sector and concerned the impacts of gas on the floodplains.