New mining laws passed last week by the Palaszczuk Government could make Queensland a target for the “mad greenie” element in Australia, Katter’s Australian Party MPs have warned.
State KAP Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter said there were hidden costs that could stifle economic development in Labor’s Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018, which was passed last week.
“These elements have been designed to satisfy radical environmental movements that will see an absence of mining investment in the future,” he said.
“You mightn’t see the impact now but in the future we’ll be looking around wondering what happened to a large chunk of our mining investment.”
Mr Katter said while the KAP was all for irresponsible mining companies having to pay for mining rehabilitation, there were aspects of the new laws that were concerning.
“Mines will now have to open up their rehabilitation plans to a public interest test every time they want to change their mine plan,” he said.
“The Government did concede some changes on this but the issue still remains.
“The fact is that now an investor will expect the worse every time a lobby group from the city wants to flex their muscles out in the regions.”
Mr Katter said he commended the Government on the parts of the Bill that had tidied up of some of the mining rehabilitation legislation.
“This is healthy as we’ve had problems with this in the past and I commend the government on this section,” he said.
“We all know that places like Mount Oxide and Mount Gordon have had their issues, but the first part of the Bill improved this.
“The second part was rammed in without consultation and will do inadvertent damage.
“People need to be mindful of the fact that the Queensland mining industry is responsible for much of the wealth in our state.
“Radical environmentalists use fear-mongering and shaky science to put pressure on our Government to be heavy-handed with miners who are investing in our future.
“With these laws, who knows how much longer this investment will be worthwhile at all.”
Speaking out against certain elements of the Bill in Parliament last week, Mr Katter said in Mount Isa he had a front row seat to the issues that often arose between managing both environmental and mining interests.
“One thing we know is that there are strong environmental movements that want to encroach on the mining industry and this gives them another lever,” he said in the House.
“It gives them another way to get in and stop development, and that is the thing that concerns me the most.
“Having some highly-paid consultant who comes in and makes a decision outside of those community areas (injects) a lot of risk (that threatens investment).”