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Queensland Mines Minister got it wrong on community rights

Mines Minister Andrew Cripps doesn’t seem to understand the implications of changes to the mining act that he is proposing, says Coal Free Wide Bay Burnett (CFWBB).

CFWBB spokesperson, Vicki Perrin has expressed grave concerns about Minister Cripps’s statements about the changes.

“It’s clear from the government’s own discussion paper on the changes that the community will lose the right to object to most proposed mining projects,” she said.

“Yet Andrew Cripps has in a written statement to the Bundaberg News-Mail claimed that ‘everybody will have a chance to have a say on a proposed resource project’. 

“This contradiction suggests the Minister does not understand the difference between formal objection rights to the Land Court and consultation.”

Ms Perrin suggested Mr Cripps should “read the fine print” in his proposal.

The discussion paper says:

  • Landholders and other community members lose the right to object about the environmental conditions for mining activities deemed to be ‘low risk’.
  • About 90 per cent of mining applications will go ahead without the community being allowed to object to the Land Court.

“So in 90 per cent of cases if your local school is next door to a proposed new mine, or a mine sits over an aquifer that you use on your farm, or your children may be impacted by increased dust pollution from coal trains passing their home, you won’t have rights to object,” Ms Perrin said.

“You won’t even know that a new mine is going ahead until the first sods are turned on the mine next door, the first coal trains rumble past your home or the bulldozers start clearing your local bushwalking area.

“Minister Cripps is trying to hoodwink the people of Queensland by taking away their right to lodge formal objections to 90 per cent of all mining projects that could impact heavily on their health, environment and economic wellbeing.”

People can object to the changes by writing a submission to the Committee before Wednesday, 9th July 2014.

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