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Law Reform · Access to Justice

Community objection rights to mines on major projects restored

17 July, 2015

EDO Qld welcomes Parliament’s decision today to restore landholder and community objection rights to mines on major projects.

The State Development and Public Works Organisation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 was passed in Parliament on 17 July 2015.

The objection rights to the Land Court for environmental impacts of the New Hope Stage 3 mine expansion for EDO Qld’s rural client Oakey Coal Action Alliance will now be restored.

This means the people of Oakey Coal Action Alliance, who oppose the Acland mine, will have their voices and concerns heard in a fair court of law.

We commend the State Government for delivery on an election promise and restoring community objection rights on major mining projects.

While EDO Qld has fought hard for these changes, other community organisations such as Lock the Gate Alliance have also tirelessly argued the importance of these rights.

The changes were the first step in restoring public objection rights on all mining projects across Queensland.

Looking ahead, more legislation needs to be passed to fully restore public objection rights as this Bill only dealt with ‘coordinated’ or major projects.

These rights are crucially important in the public interest so the costs and benefits of projects with huge impacts can be debated and tested in the independent Land Court.

This ensures the best environmental, economic and social outcomes from such projects.

Let’s not forget that mining resources are the public property of all Queenslanders.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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