Queensland Opposition MP Stephen Bennett has apologised to the State Parliament after providing confidential draft recommendations to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) regarding laws to make mining companies pay for environmental damage.
Bennett, the Member for Burnett, was found to be in contempt of Parliament for leaking the recommendations without authorisation.
A Parliament report found that Bennett sent the QRC draft recommendations by the Agriculture and Environment Committee (AEC), which in turn sent him proposed changes, according to a report by the ABC.
The report also found that Bennett then allegedly emailed the changes to other AEC members asking for their considerations, without disclosing QRC’s role in drafting them, and the committee then adopted some changes before giving the State Parliament final recommendations.
The information related to the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Bill, designed to make more resource companies pay for environmental clean-up.
Under the bill, an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) was given to former chief executive of Linc Energy Peter Bond to ensure the company met their environmental obligations.
It is uncertain which, or if any, of the QRC’s suggested changes were adopted by the committee.
Australian Mining contacted the QRC for comment and they said, “This is a matter entirely between the Member for Burnett and the Queensland Parliament.”