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    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Anthony Lynham
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Govt restores landholder, community rights on mining

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Anthony Lynham

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015

    Govt restores landholder, community rights on mining

    Landholders and communities will regain their right to object to mining developments under legislation introduced to Parliament today.

    State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the State Development and Public Works Organisation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 would meet an election commitment to restore objection rights stripped away by the previous LNP government.

    “We have listened to community concerns that their laws restricted landholder and community rights and our proposed changes seek to rectify this as soon as possible,” he said.

    “This Bill is the first step towards delivering on our election commitment to restore community objection rights removed by the LNP’s Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014.

    “Most importantly we have stepped in to restore these rights before the LNP’s laws have had any practical effect. No project has proceeded under the LNP’s laws.”

    Today’s Bill repeals section 47D of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 Act.

    This section prevented people objecting to the Land Court granting an environmental authority for a proposed mining activity if the Coordinator-General had previously assessed the activity. The Co-ordinator General assesses most major mine projects in Queensland.

    Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government recognised the need to balance economic development and the rights of landholders and local communities.

    “Those rights were in place under previous Labor Governments and the LNP stripped them away,” he said.

    “In Opposition, Labor opposed these rights being stripped away because they balanced the rights of would-be miners, landholders and the community.

    “The LNP deserted rural landholders.

    “Under Labor’s previous laws, food and animal exports grew 36 per cent over nine years while the resources industry saw record growth, proving these industries can grow sustainably with landholder rights still being protected.

    “Our legislation will help to set the scene for a productive relationship with resource companies by helping to lessen anxiety towards resource development among landholders and agricultural stakeholders.”

    The Palaszczuk Government also moved shortly after being elected to prevent other provisions in the LNP’s Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 fromcoming into effect.

    Dr Lynham said further amendments later this year would deal with these provisions.

    The Bill also includes amendments to the Land Court Act 2000.

    Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the Bill also included amendments to the Land Court Act 2000 to ensure members are covered by their usual immunity when they were performing administrative functions of the court under legislation such as the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and Environmental Protection Act.

    “This effectively maintains the status quo and provides certainty to members of the court and people who appear before it,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “In line with existing immunities, the extended protection will also apply to judicial registrars, lawyers, agents and witnesses.”

    The amendments will apply retrospectively.

    Concerns about immunity were raised as a result of a Supreme Court case this year.

    The Bill also provides mechanisms to ensure any other impact of the Supreme Court decision on the capacity of the Land Court to deal effectively with these mining-related referrals can be speedily resolved.

    Dr Lynham said that if passed this week, most of the amendments, including those to restore community objection rights, would come into effect in late July.

    ENDS 15 July, 2015 

    Dr Lynham    -           Jan Martin     3719 7370       0439 341 314

    Mrs D’Ath     -           Scott Dixon    3719 7414       0455 051 900