The Newman Government has removed the legal right for anyone to object to massive coal and uranium mines in Queensland on environmental grounds.
“It’s only just coming to light that the Newman Government has taken the biggest backward step in Queenslanders’ rights to protect their land, water and communities, that this state has ever seen,” Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“The Newman Government deceitfully slipped the amendment to mining laws through state Parliament at five minutes to midnight on Tuesday night without any Parliamentary discussion.
“This comes on top of the Newman Government’s other change to mining laws, which means that only landholders, neighbours and local councils can object to mining leases.
“Because of this new, last minute amendment, not even landholders, neighbours or local councils, or anybody else, will be able to challenge ‘coordinated projects’ – the biggest mining projects in the state – through the Land Court.
“Instead the only recourse against these mega mines will be to submit concerns to the Coordinator General, an unelected bureaucrat, who can choose to ignore those concerns and approve massive mines no matter how many people will be impacted.
“As late as Wednesday, Minister Cripps was still claiming that the community would have the right to object under environmental assessment, while conveniently leaving out that for the biggest, most damaging mines this won’t be the case.
“Campbell Newman is setting up the law so that his mining company buddies can get away with anything they want, even if that means sacrificing our land and water, by taking away Queenslanders’ rights to have a say.
“Premier Newman is trying to silence Queenslanders and they won't stand for it at the next election,” Senator Waters said.