Political pressure from the LNP and various stakeholders in North Queensland has seen the Palaszczuk Labor Government forced into a backflip and provide a clear regulatory pathway for the proposed Integrated Food and Energy Development (IFED) project in the Etheridge Shire.
Shadow Minister for Northern Development, Andrew Cripps, said he was pleased to see the Palaszczuk Government break an election commitment to the Wilderness Society to provide some certainty to the IFED project as part of a rigorous assessment process.
“Less than two weeks ago, Labor’s State Development Minister, Anthony Lynham, handed a draft Development Protocol to IFED representatives, which effectively scuttled any chance of the project progressing, but today we saw a dramatic backflip” said Mr Cripps.
“This is an uncommon win for common sense, but it’s unfortunate that Minister Lynham and Labor have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide North Queensland with a chance to secure this significant job-creating economic development opportunity” he said.
“Minister Lynham had given up fighting for IFED, because he was unable to overcome the political opposition from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and the dominating influence that the extreme green movement has over the Palaszczuk Labor Government”.
“Thankfully, political intervention from the LNP and strong lobbying from a range of stakeholders in North Queensland forced Labor back to the table and a regulatory pathway being agreed to with IFED to go through a comprehensive assessment and approvals process”.
Mr Cripps said yesterday the Wilderness Society revealed it believed Labor had reneged on a written commitment it had given to the extreme green group prior to the state election, to tear up the Development Protocol provided to IFED by the former LNP Government.
“Despite their constant denials, there is now absolutely no doubt that Labor have been doing deals with the Greens and job opportunities for North Queensland communities have been offered as the price for Labor to win elections and get back into power”.
“Representatives of IFED did describe the draft Development Protocol offered by Labor less than two weeks ago as a document that would ‘positively discourage investment’, but since then some good old fashioned political and community activism has flushed Labor out”.
“Let’s be very clear, neither the former LNP process or the new Labor process gives IFED a free kick, but what can happen now is that the proponents and potential investors can go through the assessment and approval process with some certainty and I welcome that.”