The first hearing of the Queensland Senate Inquiry on the Gold Coast today shows why Tony Abbott’s plan to hand federal environmental approval powers to the Newman Government would be a disaster.
“From the Gold Coast’s beaches, to its hinterland, and residential areas in between, the Newman Government is attacking locals’ favourite spots,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“The Newman Government is pushing a massive ship terminal, casino and hotel development that would destroy the spit and broadwater and compound the misery of problem gambling in the community.
“This important marine and birdlife habitat is public land, there for the community to enjoy, surfing, kayaking and swimming – it’s an intrinsic part of the Gold Coast lifestyle.
“In the hearing today we’ve heard that the parent company behind the casino development project has been debarred by the World Bank.
“In the Hinterland, the Newman Government is putting rainforest at risk by selling off government owned land in conservation areas to commercial developers, risking Springbrook’s World Heritage status.
“Near Reedy Creek, the Newman Government is allowing a giant, noisy quarry to be built, just 250 metres from family homes and close to schools, where it will destroy koala habitat.
“Across the state, the Newman Government is trying to override communities, who are protecting their environment, heritage and local sustainable industries from big mining and development companies.
“Today’s hearing on the Gold Coast shows exactly why Tony Abbott’s plan to give federal environmental approval powers to Campbell Newman would be an absolute disaster.
“The Greens are proud to have secured the agreement of the Palmer United Party to block Tony Abbott’s plan to give state premiers the final say on whether environmentally damaging developments go ahead,” Senator Waters said.