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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    No cotton or open-cut mining in the Channel Country

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    No cotton or open-cut mining in the Channel Country

    The Newman Government has ruled out open-cut mining and capped water extraction in the Channel Country of Western Queensland.

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said the announcement showed a positive plan for the region and set the record straight, after months of negative and misleading headlines.

    “Today in Longreach I announced the core principles of the management framework that my Department has been developing for the Georgina and Diamantina Rivers and Cooper Creek,” Mr Cripps said.

    “There will be no cotton grown on the Cooper Creek and no further water released for irrigation purposes from these systems.

    “Open-cut mining will not be allowed in the Channel Country and oil and gas development will be strictly controlled under strengthened conditions to be contained in the Environmental Protection Act.

    “This will mean proposed petroleum and gas developments will be subject to stronger environmental conditioning than in any other part of Queensland.”

    “A special Channel Country Protection Area will be created which will protect a greater area of riverine channels and flood plains than the existing Wild Rivers legislation."

    Mr Cripps said the announcement should end the ongoing speculation and scaremongering about the State Government’s plans.

    “There will be no cotton grown on Cooper Creek and no indiscriminate resource development allowed in the Channel Country, end of story,” he said.

    “The deceptive and inflammatory nature of the opposition's claims have grown tiresome and it's disappointing to see these accepted by some, despite my repeated assurances of protection,” Mr Cripps said.

    “We are designing an alternative strategy to replace Labor’s restrictive Wild Rivers legislation that will strike a balance between protection of the environment and sustainable economic development.”

    Mr Cripps said some details were still being finalised and more announcements will follow.

    He again thanked representatives from the environment movement, Indigenous groups, the grazing and resources sector and local government who served on the Western Rivers Advisory Panel (WRAP).

    “My Department will continue to consider the WRAP report and I will finalise my recommendations to Government by the end of this year,” he said.

    “I will be working closely with Environment Minister Andrew Powell and his Department in implementing this new management plan for Western Queensland rivers.”

    [ENDS] 31 July 2013

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