Friends of the Earth spokesperson Bradley Smith says that while the groups are hopeful, the proposed framework currently falls far short of protecting good quality agricultural farmland from coal mining.
“It is a monumental step forward that some of Queensland could finally be protected from coal mining and that some coal will stay in the ground, where it cannot damage our climate,” said Mr Smith.
The legislation proposed by the government still allows mines to go ahead if the Minister deems them to be in the public interest. Also, mines may allowed on even the best quality land, if they promise to rehabilitate it. “The idea that our best, irreplaceable farmland can be mined and then rehabilitated to similar levels of production is a farce.” “Only outright protection of entire food producing regions will give both farmers and developers certainty.” The alliance of groups that made the join submission were:
- Friends of the Earth Brisbane
- Brisbane Regional Environmental Council
- Capricorn Conservation Council
- Householder's Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Queensland
- Logan and Albert Conservation Association
- Mackay Conservation Group
- North Queensland Conservation Council
- Sunshine Coast Environment Council
- Toowoomba and Region Environment Council
- Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council
- Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland