Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham has caught himself in a vegetation management trap, stuck between a Labor election commitment to reverse the LNP’s legislative changes and a supposedly ‘unfettered’ stakeholder roundtable process.
Shadow Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said questions asked at recent estimates hearings showed Minister Lynham could not explain how he would reconcile Labor’s election commitments to repeal the LNP’s common sense changes with the roundtable review process.
“Labor made it clear it opposed the LNP’s amendments to the Vegetation Management Framework and repeated its intention to reinstate Labor’s legislation in the Department of Natural Resources and Mines’ Service Delivery Statement,” Mr Cripps said.
“Yet at the recent estimates committee hearings, the Minister quite clearly said it would be ‘improper’ for him to fetter the outcomes of the stakeholder review process by providing terms of reference.”
Mr Cripps said when Minister Lynham was asked how he would reconcile any differences between Labor’s election commitments and the recommendations that came out of the review process, Queenslanders quickly found out the stakeholder roundtable was anything but unfettered.
“Minister Lynham could not say the recommendations would determine any changes to the Vegetation Management Act and was forced to admit all stakeholders came to the roundtable knowing Labor had made election commitments,” he said.
“Labor has already made up its mind, regardless of the outcomes of the review process.
“This roundtable process is a sham and industry groups participating should be aware that regardless of how many facts they present, the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s intentions are predetermined.
“For all of Minister Lynham’s flowery language about wanting an open discussion with genuine consultation, the truth is regardless of what it says, Labor will pander to the greens in accordance with its election preference deals.”
Mr Cripps said Minster Lynham was also unable to provide the committee with any evidence to support the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s assertion that current levels of vegetation management activity were unnecessary or inappropriate under the current framework.