Cripps: Land owners to be better off under new mining rules
THE Queensland Government has defended proposed changes to the state's mining and resource legislation claiming land owners will be better off despite claims to the contrary from some sections of the community.
Opponents claim that under sweeping reforms outlined in the controversial Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill land owners would be worse off and expressed concerns about a clause that will reduce public objection rights to environmentally risky projects deemed to be low risk.
If passed the legislation will see the notion of public notifications scrapped for 90% of projects across the state.
The proposal, which is currently before the Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee, represents the first stage in the government's bid to re-write and modernise the state's existing resources legislation.
Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps took aim on Wednesday at organisations and individuals who he claims have ulterior motives.
"Currently the notification and objection process for proposed mines is duplicated and does not take into account the size and impact of the mine," he said.
"In regards to mining lease applications, affected landholders and occupiers, councils and infrastructure providers will continue to be notified.
"However, some individuals and groups with little or no interest in our state submit vexatious objections to tie up economically beneficial projects and job creation.
"Only proposed low impact mines which meet specified criteria will no longer be subject to potential objections to an environmental authority."
Mr Cripps said if the proposal legislation is given the stamp of approval there were strict guidelines surrounding future mining approvals.
"Only proposed low impact mines which meet specified criteria will no longer be subject to potential objections to an environmental authority," he said.
"To meet the criteria the proposed mining must be alluvial, clay pit, dimension stone, hard rock, opal or shallow pit.
"The mine must also cause less than 10 hectares of disturbance, have no more than 20 employees and be away from environmental sensitive areas."
Mr Cripps said he understood the concerns raised by industry groups and landholders.
The LNP dominated Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee must deliver its recommendations before August 30.