Law Reform · Access to Justice

EDO Qld welcomes proposed restoration of community objection rights to mines

16 July, 2015

EDO Qld welcomes the State Government's introduction of a Bill in Parliament yesterday that could see landholder and community objection rights to mines restored on major projects.

However, the State Development and Public Works Organisation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 needed to be passed and implemented quickly for it to help certain communities, EDO Qld CEO and Solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg said.

“This Bill means meeting the State Government’s pre-election commitment to restore objection rights stripped away by the previous LNP government,” Ms Bragg said.

“However, this Bill is just the first step in restoring public objection rights on all mining projects across Queensland,” Ms Bragg said.

“If passed within time, this Bill will reinstate 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, and for others.

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

“EDO QLD has constantly advocated for restoration of community objection rights.

“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.

“For example, the Adani Carmichael mine case shows that the proponent’s application material, and the assessment process under the Coordinator General, were both flawed.

“This Land Court case was needed to expose the serious adverse risks to ancient freshwater springs and exaggerated jobs forecasts by Adani.

“This would not have been possible without objection rights for these massive projects.

“We await urgent passage of the bill.”