Through a deal with the Greens, Clive Palmer’s United Queensland party has formed a Federal Select Senate Inquiry into Queensland Government approvals of coal seam gas projects.
The Inquiry, to be chaired by Palmer United Senator Glenn Lazurus, was voted in by the senate last night, and will inquire into a wide range of areas including environmental approvals of coal seam gas projects, the separation of powers, and the allocation of Commonwealth funding to Queensland.
National Co-ordinator for Lock the Gate, Phil Laird, welcomed the formation of the Inquiry.
“This Inquiry is the first step in restoring accountability in Queensland,” Mr Laird said.
“We are extremely grateful to the Palmer United Party, the Australian Greens and the ALP for uniting together in Federal Parliament to stand up for Queenslanders who have been disenfranchised by big donors, multinational mining companies and the Liberal National Party.
“This will be an incredibly important Inquiry that will be able to explore the approval of coal and gas projects in Queensland and how they match with Australia’s international environmental obligations.”
“On the Darling Downs, the community was devastated when the Newman Government back-flipped on a written promise to reject the New Acland coal mine after the LNP received $700,000 in political donations from the owners of the mine.”
“Furthermore, just last month, brazen amendments to mining laws at three minutes to midnight stripped away the rights of landholders and community groups to challenge mining developments in court.”
“What is occurring in Qld at the moment is the deliberate decimation of both environmental law and landholder rights. The next thing in the firing line are laws to protect water resources from mining, which are now also under threat from the Newman Government” Mr Laird said.
The Federal Senate Inquiry includes in its Terms of Reference, consideration of the adequacy of Commonwealth oversight of the approval of Coal Seam Gas Projects being developed in Queensland.
“Three massive CSG export plants were approved in Qld without so much as a cost benefit analysis. These plants have caused massive hikes in domestic gas prices to match world parity pricing and have put our manufacturing industry at risk as a result.”
“It was only a matter of time until someone found a way to expose the inappropriate practices going on in Queensland and we congratulate the three parties for working together to bring this Inquiry on” he said.