Agribusiness & Food, Mining and Heavy Industries

Miners not happy as Queensland strengthens farmer, community rights

Queensland Resource Council chief executive Michael Roche says new legislation passed by the Palaszczuk Government opens the floodgates for activists to disrupt and delay projects.

Roche criticised the passage of the Government’s Mineral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (MOLA) on Tuesday.

He said the new legislation made It harder for mining companies to do their work, despite the industry being “one of the heavy lifters in the economy,” generating one in every six jobs and injecting $2.1 billion in royalties over the last financial year.

“The QRC understands that MOLA delivers the Palaszczuk Government’s election promise to wind back amendments made by the Newman government to streamline the objection process for mining projects in Queensalnd,” Roche said.

“We agree the community should have an avenue for their concerns to be heard about mining projects,” he said.

“However this should not equate to multiple years in the Land Court spent frustrating and delaying what is supposed to be an administrative process only, not a Hollywood-style courtroom hearing.”

Roche said the legislation opened the door for activists “from Broome to Berlin” to interfere with the mining sector.

He believes the new legislation creates an unnecessary double-up of environmental objection under Queensland’s laws.

But the Palaszczuk Government’s mining minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, says the legislation has simply restored balance between the rights of farmers, miners, and the community.

“The legislation passed today fulfils the government’s commitments to restore community objection rights to proposed mining projects, and to protect key agricultural infrastructure,” Lynham said on May 24.

“As per our commitments, we have re-established the right for anyone to object to a proposed mining project on broad grounds.

“Landholders will also have the right to say no to resource activities beside their key infrastructure.”

Lynham said the resources sector would benefit from the Queensland Land Court being given a new power to strike out any frivolous or vexatious objections, under the legislation.

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