- Queensland’s multi-billion dollar coal industry is under threat due to Labor’s inaction
- LNP put in place a successful scheme which facilitates increased releases from mine sites when natural watercourse flows were higher, under strict and enhanced monitoring of water quality
- Bill Byrne is jeopardising the return to work of thousands of coal mine workers with his latest outburst
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk must explain Minister Bill Byrne’s outburst opposing controlled releases from mines impacted by heavy rainfall and flood events which pose a threat to Queensland’s multi-billion dollar coal industry getting back to work.
Shadow Mines Minister Andrew Cripps condemned Bill Byrne’s attack on the successful scheme put in place by the former LNP Government which was developed to deal with legacy mine water issues ignored by the Bligh Labor Government.
Mr Cripps said central Queensland mines impacted by widespread flood events in 2011 were battling with reduced production rates, increased operational costs and fewer royalties being paid to the state because Labor had refused to take action.
“It was left to the LNP to fix the problem, which we did with a common sense approach by facilitating increased releases from mine sites when natural watercourse flows were higher, under strict and enhanced monitoring of water quality” Mr Cripps said.
“That scheme carefully protected local environmental values, rural stock and domestic supplies and irrigation and town water supplies with cumulative impact assessment triggers established in the lower Fitzroy River – and it was a success.”
Mr Cripps said Minister Byrne was the latest Labor MP to attack Queensland’s coal industry and jeopardise the return to work of thousands of coal mine workers at mines where access to the resources was blocked by water from heavy rainfall events.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to publicly put Bill Byrne back in his box and tell him to focus on his job of getting Queensland’s agriculture sector back up on its feet after Cyclone Debbie, instead of taking opportunistic pot shots at the coal industry,” Mr Cripps said.
“His fearmongering at a time like this smacks of an opportunistic political stunt, especially when the Temporary Emissions Licence scheme developed by the former LNP Government proved to be a safe and well-regulated approach to the issue.”
Mr Cripps said he was concerned about the comments from Minister Byrne pointing to additional green tape being imposed on industry, particularly when he admitted his attitude to the controlled releases were “philosophical” and not based on science.