Bill to cut public say on new mines unites KAP and Labor

NEW mining laws that could prevent most public objections to new mines, in a Newman Government bid to cut red tape for the sector, will be debated in state parliament next week.

But the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill has united Labor and the Katter's Australia Party.

A report from a parliamentary committee examining the bill has recommended passing the bill when it comes before parliament next week.

Committee chairman Ian Rickuss wrote that the bill was an effort to improve processes between mine owners, resource companies and landholders.

But deputy chairwoman, Labor's Jackie Trad, wrote the Opposition was "extremely concerned" the bill ignored the concerns of the "overwhelming majority" of submissions to the inquiry.

Among them, AgForce raised questions about how the community could object to new mines given concerns the bill would "erode further any goodwill between the agriculture and resources sector".

Ms Trad wrote the bill would remove public notification requirements for new mines and "objection rights on mining leases and environmental authorities".

Similarly, KAP Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth wrote that the bill was "biased toward the mining giants while further removing landowners' rights".

"The bill removes all public notification and objection rights to land tenure decisions with only the impacted landholders having the right to object," he wrote.

"I am greatly concerned about opt-out agreements without any safeguards such as information and warning statements to ensure landowners are aware of the risks and implications of these agreements."

The inquiry into the bill also recommended the Land Access Code be reviewed within six to 12 months of the bill passing, as well as providing public access to the government's online "Mines Globe" initiative, to see what applications had been made over specific areas of the state.

It is expected to be debated during parliamentary sittings this week. - APN NEWSDESK



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