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    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Fresh approach to managing Western Rivers

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Fresh approach to managing Western Rivers

    The Newman Government today fulfilled an election promise to western Queenslanders by convening the inaugural meeting of the Western Rivers Advisory Panel (WRAP) in Longreach.

    In an address to today’s meeting, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the Panel would help the State Government develop a fresh approach that allowed for the protection and sustainable use of Queensland’s Western Rivers.

    “Consultation with the Panel will be an important part of developing strategies that strike an effective balance between river protection and sustainable development for Cooper Creek and the Georgina and Diamantina Rivers,” Mr Cripps said.

    “This group will provide local community feedback on reforms being considered by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.”

    Mr Cripps said the Bligh Labor Government’s Wild Rivers legislation caused considerable angst for people in western Queensland, and he hoped the WRAP process would restore confidence in government processes under the LNP.

    “The Newman Government understands that the best policies for regional Queensland do not emanate from George Street, and that people west of the Great Divide deserve opportunities for economic growth,” he said.

    “This process is designed to develop a more practical, less onerous framework that will preserve environmental values and support the agricultural and resource pillars of the economy.

    “WRAP members include local representatives from community groups including local government, AgForce, Desert Channels NRM, the Georgina-Diamantina-Cooper Aboriginal Group, Cooper Creek Catchment Committee, Georgina-Diamantina Catchment Committee, Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee, Lake Eyre Basin Scientific Advisory Panel and the resources sector.

    “The panel represents a significant cross-section of the community and its members bring a wealth of experience, skills and on-ground knowledge that will help the Government shape the future management of our iconic Western Rivers.

    “I congratulate all the appointees to the panel and look forward to working with them.”

    Appointees to the Western Rivers Advisory Panel are:

    Gerry Fogarty – Georgina Diamantina Cooper Aboriginal Group

    Councillor Bill Bode – North Western local governments

    John te Kloot – AgForce Queensland

    Rob Jansen - Georgina Diamantina Catchment Committee

    Angus Emmott – Cooper Creek Catchment Committee

    Professor Richard Kingsford – Lake Eyre Basin Scientific Advisory Board

    Judith Harrison – Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee

    Trevor Whitelaw – Santos Ltd (representing the resources industry)

    Peter Douglas – Desert Channels Queensland, and

    Councillor Stuart Mackenzie – South Western local governments

    [ENDS] 22 November 2012

    Media contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754 or Paul Sutherland 0428 868 237