Thursday, February 16, 2012
LNP fails the environment again
The LNP has today mounted a shameless crusade to strip protections for Queensland and allow mining to proceed without environmental regulation, spelling disaster for the state.
Environment Minister Vicky Darling was appalled by Mr Newman’s admission today that he would pull apart the Department of Environment and Resource Management, proving an LNP government will be at the beck and call of big miners and big developers.
“The LNP have shown time and time again that have no interest in protecting the environment.
“I fail to see how protecting the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef is an action by green extremists.
“Or stopping sandmining from continuing indefinitely on North Stradbroke Island; or regulating coal seam gas activity; or protecting some of Australia’s most pristine and untouched river systems.
Ms Darling said it had been the worst kept secret that Newman plans to inflict revenge on DERM for its achievements in protecting the environment.
“They have promised to beef up the powers of the co-coordinator-general and turn the office into the facilitator-general* - and give it ‘real power’ for major developments right around the State.
Ms Darling said his plan to separate mines and energy regulation from environmental regulation is the most frightening of all.
“This is a nightmare return to the bad-old-days where the Mines department was in charge of issuing approvals for mines.
“Will mining proceed without environmental regulation? How can you separate mining approvals from environmental regulation?
“Is this Mr Newman or Mr Palmer calling the shots?
Ms Darling said that Mr Newman seems to have forgotten that DERM had led a series of landmark reforms to ensure Queensland’s environment remains protected and pristine for future generations.
“The long list of achievements includes wild rivers, coal seam gas regulation, North Stradbroke Island, reef protection, waste reform, climate adaptation, national park management, business sustainability, species protection and environmental approvals.
“Today he has committed to smashing up one of Australia’s most successful environment and resource management agencies – making a mockery of the departments huge achievements since its formation in 2009.
“To rip apart DERM is a slap in the face to the dedicated professionals working day in day out to deliver important environmental reforms.”
* See LNP resources and energy strategy p24
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