The Australian Greens say former Minister Ian Macfarlane's proposal to make environment groups stick to “digging up lantana” shows the danger of the cosy relationship between the mining sector and ex-politicians and the need for binding rules about former politicians working for industries they used to regulate.
Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, and spokesperson on the environment said the former Abbott Government Resources minister continues to promote big mining and ignore the concerns of communities.
“The day before former Minister Macfarlane starts his job as boss of Queensland’s peak mining industry body he is already attacking environment groups and suggesting they stick to weeding, rather than advocacy for policy change to protect the environment.
“If environment and community groups weren’t able to advocate for systemic change, or hold governments to account in the courts for mistakes made, Mr MacFarlane's big polluter mates could continue their destruction unchallenged.
“Without voices for the environment in the courts there would be no way to protect the Great Barrier Reef from Adani’s mega-mine, which jeopardises 70,000 Reef jobs by worsening climate change which is the biggest threat to the Reef.
“Without legitimate peaceful protest, there would be no way farmers and rural communities could stand up to mining and gas companies who bully and force their way onto farms and properties.
“To jam up the revolving door there should be a vigorous set of standards used to hold ministers to a high standard of integrity, and they should be evenly applied and enforced.
“We desperately need legislated ethical standards for ministers, donations reform and a national corruption watchdog, Senator Waters said.
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