Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has accused two Palaszczuk Government Ministers of a political stunt to shut down a feral goat management project on Pelorus Island and didn’t believe the decision was based on science or environmental grounds.
Mr Cripps said in issuing a conservation order to the Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Environment Minister, Steven Miles and Agriculture Minister, Leanne Donaldson had both acted disgracefully and had made a decision that abrogated their responsibilities.
“What we saw last week was just a politically opportunistic stunt from the Palaszczuk Government – Steven Miles couldn’t even pronounce the name of the island correctly and Leanne Donaldson sat there mute and absurd while her Department got shafted” said Mr Cripps.
“When this issue first emerged last month, I pointed out Council had engaged expert consultants from the University of Southern Queensland and that the project been approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Department of Agriculture” he said.
“Agriculture Minister, Leanne Donaldson, has hung the public servants in her Department out to dry by supporting this decision – it supported this project following a detailed consideration of the proposal in full accordance with the law and bets practice”.
“What Minister Donaldson appears to have done is support blatant political interference in a process that is guided by scientific principles and undermined an independent decision made by her officers in the Department of Agriculture – that’s appalling behaviour”.
“Meanwhile, Environment Minister, Steven Miles, has totally ignored the fact the major problem with the feral goats on Pelorus is that they are destroying large sections of native vegetation, which is in fact a habitat for native animals that do actually live on the island”.
“Minister Miles appears to have given up on the real environmental issue on Pelorus Island to chase some cheap political points without an alternative solution and left Council to try and address the issue using expensive methods that have previously been unsuccessful’.
Mr Cripps said despite the political opportunism of the Palaszczuk Government, he maintained his strong support for the Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s feral goat eradication program on Pelorus Island and indicated he would continue to investigate the matter.