Mayor John Brent
Mayor John Brent

Proposed mining bill falls short of election pledge: Brent

A PROPOSED State Government mining bill doesn't fulfill an election promise to keep mining out of the Boonah area, according to a Scenic Rim Regional Council submission.

In the lead-up to the 2012 State Election then opposition leader Campbell Newman told the Queensland Times the energy industry in the Scenic Rim was "inappropriate here full stop".

In a document submitted by the council to the State Government the council stated "it appears that the framework outlined in the (Regional Planning Interest Bill 2013) falls short in delivering on this assurance (to prevent mining)".

However, the council is concerned the current bill doesn't protect the region from mining.

The council is concerned the bill contains a number of exploitable loopholes which "do not appear to provide the level of regulatory protection sought by the Council and the community".

Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent said the council would continue to ensure the energy industry stayed out of the region.

"The State Government has previously provided assurances to council and the community that the Scenic Rim is off limits to the CSG and mining industries and I know the Premier to be a man of his word," he said.

"However, it is only appropriate that having been invited to provide its feedback, that council expresses its concern the proposed bill does not provide the absolute legislative protection advocated for on behalf of our community to prohibit entirely any form of CSG extraction of coal mining in the Scenic Rim."

Cr Brent said he believed in its current state the bill could see the Scenic Rim protected as an "area of interest", but was concerned loopholes existed which could be exploited by mining companies.

He said the Scenic Rim community had spoken out loudly against mining in the region.

"Consistent with the sentiments expressed through the Scenic Rim Community Plan 2011-2026, the community expectation is for nothing short of a legislative outcome which closes the door on CSG and coal mining forever," he said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Jeff Seeney would not comment of the Scenic Rim's specific concerns but said a cross-bench Parliamentary Committee would be looking through the submissions.

"This Bill will deliver on a promise made by the Newman Government to fix Labor's hap-hazard approach to community planning and to give local communities greater control of their economic future," he said.

The committee will make recommendations in its report to Parliament due by March 17.



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