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Environmental Defenders protective of mining objection rights

Date
A coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin.

A coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin. Photo: Peter Braig

The Queensland government should not scrap the right to object to mining projects for ideological reasons, environmental law advocates say.

State parliament's agriculture, resources and environment committee is scrutinising a bill that would alter the objection rights that relate to smaller mining projects.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland senior solicitor Sean Ryan says the Newman government has no substantial reason for changing the bill.

"One of the main justifications for this bill and the removal of public objection rights has been a fear that they will be abused by frivolous, vexatious litigants," he told the committee on Wednesday.

"There's no evidence to support that fear."

Mr Ryan conceded that, theoretically, any person could launch an objection, but said there were existing protections against abuses of process.

His colleague Jo Bragg pointed to a discussion paper that found 105 of 176 respondents opposed the change.

"The reality is the majority of people who've taken an interest in this are extremely unhappy," she said.

Ms Bragg said the bill's explanatory notes failed to acknowledge the extent of community opposition.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has previously argued it's "frustrating" that anyone with a fundamental objection to coalmining can delay a project by sending it to the Land Court.

The Environmental Defenders Office says the proposed legislation would strip away people's right to take objections to the Land Court in 90 per cent of cases.

The committee is due to report by the end of August.

AAP

 

5 comments so far

  • That's the way, dig the hole deeper you have to pull yourself up from. Newman said he still had work to do, now we see what it is. Why al this fuss over coal, countries are turning away from it? It will be a dead industry soon, almost a 'fossil'.

    Commenter
    wdawes
    Date and time
    August 06, 2014, 12:40PM
    • But CANDO/COULDO/TRIEDTO/CANTDO told us they are world leaders in managing QLD s environment, at the QPLAN launch last week , they would'nt lie to us would they?
      Anyone who votes against the LNP must be a vexatious voter?

      Has anyone burnt an Effen Effigy of CANDO/COULDO/TRIEDTO/CANTDO in Ashgrove and planted a tree on it ?, 'hear lies the vestiges of Campbellious Nullius , he came , he TRIEDTO/COULDNTDO, he went, like goose fart.

      Commenter
      fraccinstein
      Location
      burrum heads
      Date and time
      August 06, 2014, 12:49PM
      • "There's no evidence to support that fear." Since when do the LNP require evidence to base their policy and fears on? This is just a follow up to Neoman's stated intention, not long post election, when he and Seeney declared War on environmentalist groups and activists. I kid you not..that was the term used! It was even declared publicly at the time...but I guess it went in one ear and out the other for most people. I think it was around the same time when Neoman said that his government was in the coal business. This proposal is outrageous! What and who are you going to gag next Neoman? Because that's what this atrocity amounts to ...mass gagging by stripping away people's rights and objections.

        Commenter
        PaxUs
        Location
        Austerelia
        Date and time
        August 06, 2014, 2:02PM
        • Since when does the LNP listen to anyone but themselves and the big end of town? I'm always suspicious of someone or any organisation who doesn't like criticism or opposition to their practices as that usually means there is something to be concerned about and they keep proving everybody right so what more do they expect in return? Shameful!

          Commenter
          smithers
          Location
          Brisbane
          Date and time
          August 06, 2014, 3:11PM
          • Nah the LNP will ban the right to object to anything they are involved in , remember the Newman way , its our way or the highway , still arrogant, still full of ego , that's our LNP
            Oh and don't forget ,the LNP listening to the people are to foreign concepts

            Commenter
            John
            Location
            Wynnum
            Date and time
            August 06, 2014, 4:00PM

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