The Newman LNP Government last night passed legislation to extend sand mining on North Stradbroke Island for another 22 years in a morally corrupt cash for legislation deal said Jackie Trad, Labor Environment Spokesperson and Member for South Brisbane.
“The maps in the legislation, length of lease terms and environmental authority were all requested in a May briefing note from Sibelco to the Newman Government,” Ms Trad said.
“Every single request in this submission from Sibelco was granted in this legislation.”
“The Government accepted the economic and scientific advice of Sibelco without question and failed to do any independent analysis into the impacts on tourism as the Island’s largest employer”
“I have never seen legislation drafted this way at the explicit request of a mining company who stands to make $1.5 billion by their own figures.”
Ms Trad said the Bill followed $91,840 in electoral support from Sibelco to the Premier’s campaign in Ashgrove at the 2012 State election and meetings held directly between the Premier and the head of Sibelco.
“The Premier is yet to rule out having discussed electoral support at these meetings,” Ms Trad said.
“The Newman LNP Government have broken their election promise to consult with Island residents and the indigenous native title holder the Quandamooka people about a transition away from sand mining.”
Ms Trad said the legislation also seeks to remove the appeal rights of the native title holder without consultation.
“The Premier before the election said he was greatly concerned about the appeal rights of a mining company who were operating on expired mining leases but shows no regard for the democratic rights of the Quandamooka people.”
Ms Trad said the extension of sand mining for another 22 years has the potential to permanently damage the Island’s aquifer including the unique natural asset of Blue Lake.
The removal of the mine path from the legislation at the request of Sibelco will also threaten koala and glossy black cockatoo habitat.
“The damage to tourism and the environment from this legislation cannot be reversed and no independent economic or environmental assessment has taken place,” Ms Trad said.
“The Newman LNP Government has effectively sold off one of our greatest tourism assets and the world’s second largest sand island in a morally corrupt cash for legislation deal.”
“Queenslanders have not seen anything like this since the era of Joh Bjelke-Petersen.”