Queensland resources minister Anthony Lynham has slammed the Federal Government for its plans to restrict objections to mining developments.
It comes after attorney-general George Brandis and prime minister Tony Abbott outlined plans to implement tighter legislation around environmental acts and approvals processes for mining to restrict 'green sabotage'.
Brandis stated his intention to tighten laws to make it harder for environmental groups who have a philosophical opposition resources projects to fight mining developments on legal grounds, using ‘vigilante legislation’.
He went on to say green groups are ‘gaming the system’, and are using ‘extremely loose language’ in environmental protection acts to exploit legal loopholes.
“I think the Adani case has shown why it’s important that the courts not be used as a forum for vigilante litigation by people whose aim is to game the system, who have no legitimate interest other than to prosecute a political vendetta against development and bring massive developments – on which in this case some 2600 jobs depended – to a standstill,” Brandis said on Sky News’ Australian Agenda on Sunday.
“The people who challenged this are people who are determined to wipe out Queensland’s biggest industry: the coal industry.
“And no government can stand in the way, can sit idly by and let people do that.”
Now Lynham has criticised the government of attempting to rip away people rights, and that restriction opposition to mining projects was not the right way forward, according to the Brisbane Times.
It comes only a month after he sought to reinstitute sections of Queensland’s own anti mining opposition bill after the state government abolished it.
“I can say, in principal, that I support the right of the community to object to these mining ventures,” Lynham said during yesterday’s Question Time.
"And it might not be the person directly adjacent to the mine – there are other impacts further down the stream that people can have impacted on them from the mine.
"I support the community's right to object, we are a democratic society,” he said.
"We are an open and democratic community in Queensland and in Australia. By restricting people and ripping their rights away is hardly the way we should go as a democracy here in Queensland or in Australia."
Image: Brisbane Times