This Mining Bill Protects Who Exactly?

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Now I have to admit that I know next to nothing about either mining or farming but I do have a brain and when the evidence is presented to me I consider myself well able to make a cognitive decision!

I have known about Coal Seam Gas mining for quite some time.  I never cease to be astounded that such an invasive procedure is even allowed – anywhere.  Are They deliberately destroying our planet?

Upon getting involved with the Lock The Gate movement I find myself on a fast track to learning all I can about this inappropriate invasion.  There is currently a lot of buzz in Queensland about the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 so I decided that was a good place to start.

Oh what a surprise. A document that is full of legal jargon that would make any sane persons head implode.  I’m not going to pretend I read it all.  I Didn’t.  But I skimmed enough of it to get the gist so that when I read some other peoples articles I was familiar with the topic.  The new buzz words make my skin crawl – Modernise and Harmonise.  It’s a LAW not a DIY reno job. Oh wait…

“This Bill implements the first stage of the MQRA Program by creating a Common Provisions
Act into which harmonised legislation from the Mineral Resources Act 1989, Petroleum and
Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004, Petroleum Act 1923, Geothermal Energy Act 2010
and the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009 will be progressively transferred.”

So they’re cherry-picking the legislation that best suits their purposes from the 5 existing Acts and rolling them all into one Act that protects who exactly?

Here is a pdf download called Significant Changes to Queenslands Resource Legislation.  It is an easy read document outlaying the changes so far as a result of the harmonising and modernising.

On 9 September 2014 The Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act was passed in parliament – with it came the removal of the rights of neighboring landholders to object to mining developments.  In other words now you can only object to a proposed mining project if your land directly backs onto the proposed site or if the mining company must travel through your lands to gain access to the site.

Mark Phelps of Queensland Country Life wrote an article on 11 Sept 2014 called Controversial Mining Bill Passes. He mostly quotes Mining Minister Andrew Cripps and Property Rights Australia chairman Dale Stiller but the quotes are quite telling of the total disconnect between Government and the Landholders.

Mining Minister Andrew Cripps
“While the claim that neighbouring landholders would not be able to object to nine out of 10 mining proposals was technically correct, the claim did not reflect reality.
“What was being unfairly distorted by a vocal minority is that nine out of 10 mining proposals affected are low impact and impact on an area of less than 10ha and have less than 20 employees,”
“Our common-sense approach means smaller mining operations, which make up the majority of all mining leases in Queensland and have little impact on landholders or the environment, do not have to follow the same process as large-scale projects. With large-scale mines all notification rights are preserved and the broader public will retain their right to have their say.”
Property Rights Australia chairman Dale Stiller
“None of the considerable and reasonable criticism has been listened to. Vital farm infrastructure is not protected.
“All of the reports of the difficulty landowners have in coming to some sort of satisfactory conduct and compensation agreements have fallen on deaf ears.
“A consistent framework across all resource sectors is of little value to landholders if it is consistently bad.”

Does the Minister for Mines realize that lots of these small, less than 10ha, low impact mines have an ENORMOUS impact on the communities that live in the affected areas?

Does the Minister for Mines take into consideration the impact of the mining infrastructure that goes along with all those small, less than 10ha, low impact mines, on the communities that live in the affected areas?

This isn’t Rocket Science Mr Cripps.  Take a trip out to these areas and have a good look around.

Bowen Basin 1
This Mr Cripps Is a disgusting blot on a once beautiful landscape. No Harmony here!
Gas Field Tara Qld
Would you like to live here Mr Cripps? Definitely not Harmonious!

 

Darling Downs Qld 1
This Mr Cripp is an inappropriate invasion into prime food producing areas. Not very Harmonic!
Photos courtesy of Lock The Gate

You, Mr Cripps, should show more respect to the people who live out there.
It is not just their livelihoods they are trying to protect.
It is the very country that is under threat.
Threat from an invasion that your government and their Corporate buddies are facilitating
by changing laws to favour the mining  companies by shutting out the voice of the people.
The people who you are supposed to represent.
Your name will end up on a wall of shame along with the rest of your corporate stooge friends.

But there is some good news to go with this story:

In response to the dastardly underhand maneuverings of the State Government in regard to the above mentioned Act, Lock The Gate Alliance has tabled a bill in parliament called the Peoples Common Rights and Provisions Bill 2014.  It is so very important that the people of Queensland get behind this bill.

The damage that has been and is being done by mining in Queensland is devastating.  You don’t see much mentioned on main stream media. See their job is to inform you just enough to say they did their job but not enough to keep it in the collective conscience. Not like ISIS or Ukraine or ebola, or the latest fashion or ..you get the idea.

If Activists and Conspiracy Theorist where given access to prime time viewing a lot of the woes of the world would have been solved by now.  Oh well, I can dream.

Queensland is for sale to the highest bidder under this current government.  If you want a state worth living in for your children then stand with the farmers and take back this country from the death grip of corporate greed.

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