May 17, 2012
Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney vowed today that the “extreme views” of “alarmists” such as Drew Hutton would not derail the State Government’s establishment of the new Gasfields Commission.
“There is no room for extreme, narrow, lop-sided agendas on the Gasfields Commission or other decision-making bodies across Queensland,” Mr Seeney said.
“What’s needed are fair-minded people who are prepared to work with others to reach reasonable decisions that advance the well-being and prosperity of Queenslanders.”
The Deputy Premier told State Parliament the opportunity for individuals and groups to nominate people to serve on the new Gasfields Commission remained open until the end of next week.
He said there already had been strong interest shown in the Commission and once the period for public submissions closed on May 25 State Cabinet would move quickly with legislation to establish the Gasfields Commission and appoint six Commissioners.
“The Newman LNP Government put forward this policy at the election and has been given a clear mandate to establish this body,” Mr Seeney said.
“We’ve already appointed the highly respected independent head of the Surat Basin Engagement Group John Cotter as the Chairman of the Commission and are delivering on our commitments to ensure that the right balance is struck between the interests of landholders, communities and the CSG industry.
“Balance is a word unknown to alarmists like Drew Hutton of the ‘Lock the Gate’ Alliance.
“He has already called for the removal of Mr Cotter and presented the possibility of putting himself forward for a seat on the Commission.
“What purpose would be served? We already know the Hutton position, it is fixed. It cannot be swayed by science, facts, common sense or compromise.
“Mr Hutton opposes CSG exploration and development in every way, yet it is an industry that can deliver great benefit to Queensland.
“But then Mr Hutton has opposed just about every development proposed in Queensland over decades and espouses the radical policies of the Greens.
“He has hardly been a friend of any rural landholders in the past.”
The Deputy Premier urged communities and community groups to nominate “responsible, real representatives” for possible roles on the Commission.