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Queensland: gungho development « Previous | |Next »
June 7, 2012

It would appear that nothing can stand in the way of the mining boom, not even the Great Barrier Reef. The Big Miners rule. We must do what they say immediately, and give them what we want without dissent. There is no other way to govern the country.

The current Campbell Newman state government in Queensland is all for coal mining development in Queensland’s Galilee Basin in the form of the Alpha Coal mine; the development of Gladstone Harbour to enable liquefaction of CSG and the transfer of LNG to large vessels, and to a strong Coal Seam Gas industry in Queensland.

RoweDMiningboom.jpg David Rowe

If this development impacts negatively on the Great Barrier Reef, then that is the price paid for the rapid coastal development and the economic growth from gas ad coal exports. It doesn't seem to matter to the Newman state government that Great Barrier Reef as one of Australia's leading environmental assets and tourist destinations.The rhetoric is that the rapid extraction of minimal resources in this fashion is needed to pay for hospitals and to keep the lights on.

Although Queensland has jurisdiction over its lands and inshore waters in the case of Gina Rinehart’s Alpha Coal mine the Commonwealth has the final word on development because under the Australian Constitution it has jurisdiction over areas subject to international agreements such as World Heritage sites.

An editorial in the AFR draws the following conclusion:

Whatever the justification the federal government may have for freezing the approval process for the coal project, the message for foreign investors is clear – don’t invest in Australia.... The states are not without blame in these matters as their approval processes have also been allowed to grow unchecked and become overly long. However, the overlap between the federal and state government approvals process is one obvious, very large piece of green tape that should have been ripped up long ago.

That green tape is the Environment Protection and Diversity Act 1999.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:54 PM | | Comments (6)
Comments

Comments

The UNESCO report released late last week noted that the "rapid increase of coastal developments" including those associated with coal and liquefied natural gas exports were "a significant concern".

The Galilee Basin is 400km inland, but much of the debate has focused on the potential impact on the reef of run-off from the expansion of the Abbot Point port, earthworks and railway facilities.

As Julia Gillard reminded the miners recently:

"Governments only sell you the right to mine the resource ... A resource we hold in trust for a sovereign people. They own it and they deserve their share."

She is dead right.

If you were to take all the people that are directly and indirectly employed in the mining industry and sent them back to the parts of Australia they came from to be most likely unemployed where would we be then?
This is one way that we all share in mining.

Fear not Sue.

As with the shameful pokies backdown, Julia Gillard will fold once the pressure starts to build.

Where would the fun be, if they couldn't also rub the noses of progressives in it.
I reckon, even if there was absolutely nothing to be gained in lucre, they'd gladly do it out of spite anyway, like with forestry, given the chance, its the buffalo mentality.