November 3, 2016
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has rejected Labor Party claims of “hypocrisy” about her opposition to Moreton Resources’ coal mine, while at the same time pushing for Acland Stage III.
This follows a failed bid by the LNP to force the State Government to cut short its consideration of a report by Parliament’s Agriculture and Environment Committee into proposed new groundwater laws.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles labelled the failed motion by Mrs Frecklington as a “ridiculous stunt’
“The Member for Nanango couldn’t care less about the farmers whose groundwater might be affected by New Acland mine. She demands the mine have a guaranteed unlimited right to take their groundwater,” Dr Miles said.
“But when it comes to the Moreton Resources project – right next door to Kingaroy – she has a completely different view.
“It’s like there are two classes of citizens when it comes to the Member for Nanango.
“Let’s be clear – mines in Queensland have been required to obtain a water licence for some 20 years. Until the LNP brought in laws that took away that requirement. Those laws are on a fixed countdown to commence in December.
“Labor opposed those laws in Opposition and we went to the election with a position that the groundwater impact of mines should be assessed, and that the public should be consulted on that assessment.
“We are delivering on that commitment.’
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Mrs Frecklington said Labor’s rejection of her Motion in Parliament to bring forward the debate on Labor’s “Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016” demonstrated that the State Government was not willing to “listen to the desperate calls of New Hope workers and contractors”.
She said she put forward the motion in an attempt to end the endless uncertainty of the revised New Hope Stage 3 coal mine project.
“The New Hope workers and contractors want the Labor Government to realise that this legislation threatens their jobs and futures,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I was honoured to speak at the rally yesterday where about 700 people came together to highlight what is going on. They are sick and tired of the uncertainty and want the government to listen.
“Unfortunately, government members didn’t address the rally and won’t even accept meetings with the workers. They’ll only meet with the CFMEU, a union which wouldn’t even let its members attending the rally wear anything that would identify them as members of the union.”
Mrs Frecklington also rejected claims by Dr Miles that the Motion was a stunt and she didn’t care about farmers.
“Mr Miles statement couldn’t be further from the truth and it shows just how little he understands about our region,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“He is trying to compare the revised Stage 3 Project of the Acland Mine with the proposed Moreton Resources Coal mine near Kingaroy. These are two completely different issues.
“The Acland Mine is an operating mine which employs hundreds of people, mostly locals. I support this mine and the revised Stage 3 expansion.
“I also support the Meandu Mine which employs hundreds of South Burnett locals.
“But I have always said I cannot support Moreton Resources’ proposal on the basis that it fails at the first hurdle due to its proximity to a highly populated area and that it will permanently alienate invaluable rich red soil farming areas.
“Mr Miles should understand I support mining but not at any costs. He obviously hasn’t taken the time to consider these differences and how they affect local people.”