BSA echoes concerns about Cripps

Newly appointed BSA President Lyn Nicholson, who was elected at the BSA AGM last week, said she can relate to the frustrations expressed by Dr Bob Morrish last week.

In a press statement on Friday, Dr Bob Morrish of the Cooper’s Creek Protection Group referred to Andrew Cripps was a “spectacular failure” as Natural Resources Minister and called for his removal from his Natural Resources Ministerial duties immediately.

“BSA is also very concerned about the lack of consideration Minister Cripps has given to genuine concerns about the impacts of the mining and coal seam gas industries on water, the environment, agriculture and our rural lifestyle.

“As an example, we have been writing to the Minister since October last year regarding the potential hazard of unsealed coal and gas exploration wells to our air and water supplies. Letters of reply from the Minister have, to date, skirted around the real issues. We are still seeking further clarification on how the current regulations provide protection.”

She said the recent passing of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 was really the last straw for landholders.

“The Bill takes away the right for landholders, community groups, Councils and the broader community to object altogether in “state significant” large mining cases and it severely limits rights in almost all other areas. It virtually renders farmers powerless in the race for resources. Landholder groups have been treated with absolute disdain by the Minister by the use of token consultation processes and glib feel-good phrases designed to avoid people realising what is being perpetrated here in the name of “consistency”. About the only “consistency” here is that landholders are consistently having their rights eroded.

“We feel the Minister has to meet landholder groups face-to-face to discuss these issues. It is vital he comes out of his Brisbane tower and gets a first-hand view of what landholders are actually facing here in the Surat Basin and other resource regions across Queensland. He has to stop treating landholders as a road bump, otherwise the LNP may well see landholders’ irritation reflected at the ballot box,” Ms Nicholson said.