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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Finance, Natural Resources and The Arts
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Bligh Government introduces Australia’s first bill to protect Strategic Cropping Land

    Finance, Natural Resources and The Arts
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Bligh Government introduces Australia’s first bill to protect Strategic Cropping Land

    The Queensland Government has today taken an historic step becoming the first Government in the nation to introduce a bill to parliament which will protect strategic cropping land.

    Minister for Natural Resources Rachel Nolan said the Strategic Cropping Land Bill 2011 will ensure that Queensland’s very best cropping land be protected from mining and other development.

    “This legislation is an Australian-first, proving that the State Government is committed to protecting strategic cropping land for the benefit of all Queenslanders,” Ms Nolan said.

    “The resources sector is growing in Queensland, but our Government’s commitment is to sustainable growth – supporting mining in the right places, while ensuring best agriculture land is protected for future generations.

    “This new legislation ensures the competing interests of mining, farming and other developments can be effectively and sustainably balanced.

    “At the heart of the legislation is science, with a rigorous soil science test, that has been subject to independent review, determining just where the state’s best quality cropping land lies.

    “That land is protected – either in the Protection Zone, where developments which permanently alienate land are prohibited, or in the Management Zone, where development can only proceed under strict conditions.

    “All developments over a certain size that fall within the Strategic Cropping Land Management and Protection Zones will be assessed under the new legislation.

    “The restrictions apply to open cut mining, coal seam gas, underground coal gasification, long-wall or underground mining, and urban and industrial development.

    “The legislation will come into effect early next year providing certainty to landholders and developers.”

    Minister Nolan said the consultation process leading up to the implementation of the legislation has been thorough and necessary

    “This is an important policy for this government and we have been in constant contact with stakeholders to make sure that we get it right,” Ms Nolan said.

    “The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will continue as an advisory body during implementation of the legislation.

    “The committee, which includes representatives from the agriculture, resource and urban development sectors, as well as local government and natural resource management groups, has proved invaluable throughout the policy’s development and will continue its important work during implementation of the legislation.

    “It will also play a key role in reviewing the legislation after it has been in place for two years.”

    More information about the Queensland’s Government plan to protect strategic cropping land is available on the Department of Environment and Resource Management website at www.derm.qld.gov.au

    Media Contact: 0400 367 174