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    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Campbell backflips into a wild river

    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Campbell backflips into a wild river

    A major backflip by the LNP to continue the Bligh Labor Government’s landmark wild rivers legislation in Western Queensland’s channel country shows Mr Newman bows to whatever headline runs on the day.

    Environment Minister Vicky Darling was amazed that the LNP was rolling over on its long term opposition to wild rivers on the back of a morning radio story*.

    “Yesterday morning the LNP didn’t support wild rivers – they were happy to destroy our most pristine river systems.

    “Yesterday afternoon, on the back of a morning radio piece that highlighted the support of landholders and graziers for wild river protection, Mr Newman has changed his tune.

    “And this is on the back of a push from Mr Abbott, to bring forward a Federal bill to scrap Queensland’s protection.

    “The first thing that Mr Newman did when he grabbed control of the LNP was to follow Mr Abbott around North Queensland and stand next to him while he talked about trashing Queensland’s wild river laws.

    “So I ask Mr Newman – why the sudden shift?

    “What deals have been done? Why has the LNP committed to trashing wild rivers on Cape York? Why are traditional owner and graziers in the Cape less important to Mr Newman than those in Lake Eyre Basin?

    Ms Darling said Queenslanders could not trust the LNP

    “Yesterday’s announcement is designed to distract Queenslanders from the fact that the LNP wants to trash wild river protection in 10 basins across the State – from Cape York to the Gulf and Fraser and Hinchinbrook Island.

    “Mr Newman told an AgForce conference in September** that he would that he would get rid of wild rivers in the Lake Eyre Basin, and yesterday afternoon Andrew Powell announced he will keep Labor’s landmark declaration in place.

    “It's a total failure of leadership.

    “Only Labor makes decisions about environmental protection on the basis of sound science and putting the interests of future generations first”

    * ABC radio, 15 February 2012, AM program: Graziers, traditional owners and environment groups in western Queensland have formed a loose alliance to pressure Queensland Opposition Leader Campbell Newman to commit to the state's Wild Rivers laws

    **Queensland Country Life, 22 September 2011, page 22: “Mr Newman said statutory plans would also be used by the LNP to replace existing and planned wild rivers declarations on Cape York and across the Barcoo, Diamantina and Georgina River systems”

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