The Too Close for Comfort report released by The Australia Institute today highlights the urgent need to conduct a proper inquiry into the undue influence exerted by the mining industry and to crack-down on lobbyists and the revolving door between government and mining, according to the Lock the Gate Alliance.
The report examines the close relationship between the Queensland Government and mining companies, and the secrecy and lack of transparency in the planning decision making process.
Spokesperson Drew Hutton said the Palaszczuk Government must urgently implement and broaden a promised Crime and Corruption Commission inquiry into political donations and government decisions over the last term of Government, and act on long-standing recommendations to clean up mining lobbyists.
"Queensland has become a disgraceful national example of what happens when cowboy mining companies are allowed to ride roughshod over the best interests of communities and their desire for clean food and water," Mr Hutton said.
"I think many Queenslanders and the broader Australian community would be shocked at the revelations in the The Australia Institute report on the unhealthy closeness of the relationship between the mining industry and the government.
"This report explains in detail just how the mining industry exerts undue and unhealthy influence on the Qld Government, and it goes a long way to explaining why the community has long since lost any faith in the mining approval process.
"People are losing water and family farms and breathing pollution, and all the while the mining industry and the Government of the day are giving each other gifts, sharing boxes at sporting events and seamlessly swapping jobs.
"Despite the negative impacts, coal and gas mining projects are still ramping up and expanding in rural Queensland, in places such as the Darling Downs, the Western Downs and Central Qld.
"We need to clean up politics and mining in Qld and that should start with a far-reaching public inquiry into the the influence of the mining industry and urgent changes to place better controls on lobbyists and constrain the ‘revolving door’ between mining and government” he said.
In 2014, Lock the Gate was part of an historic move by members of the community to table a ‘People’s Bill’ in the Queensland Upper House aimed at restoring common rights eroded by the mining industry. View the People’s Bill here: http://www.lockthegate.org.au/bold_new_peoples_bill