Reckless job destroying legislation passed

10 November 2016

The Queensland Parliament last night passed legislation that is likely to destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of residents of South East Queensland.

In passing the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (EPOLA) unamended, the Palaszczuk Government has put at serious risk the jobs of over 300 employees and contractors at the New Hope Group.

New Hope Group Managing Director Shane Stephan said the legislation increases the amount of greentape faced by resource companies and is likely to cause at least a further 12 months delay in getting approval for Stage 3 of the New Acland mine.

“Rather than supporting struggling regional communities, this government is more interested in pandering to the green lobby and vocal minorities in an attempt to shore up electoral support in the metropolitan areas,” Mr Stephan said.

“New Hope Group lodged the original application for Stage 3 in 2007 and has been battling green lawfare ever since.

“This is without doubt the most scrutinised mine in Australian history. We have been through the process of public scrutiny at least six times and now we have yet another hurdle thrust in our way.”

Mr Stephan said a further delay associated with the additional approval is likely to have a devastating effect on the whole community.

“It is hugely disappointing that the Palaszczuk Labor Government could have such disregard for workers, especially when the Chairman of their own legislative review committee implored Minister Miles to examine the impact of the Bill on advanced projects such as ours,” Mr Stephan said.

“We clearly presented the impacts of this legislation to Minister Miles. Either he wasn’t listening or he just doesn’t care.”

Mr Stephan said New Hope Group did not oppose the original bill in its entirety.

“The New Hope Group actually supports and complies with the objectives of the legislation,” Mr Stephan said.

“All we requested was that the transitional provisions be modified so that projects like New Acland Stage 3 that had already been through detailed underground water impact assessment studies would not have to needlessly repeat the process.

 “It is apparent a few inner city ALP MP’s are prepared to sacrifice hundreds of jobs across South East Queensland through a dirty behind doors deal in order to shore up their electoral prospects due to reliance on green preferences.”