New Environment Minister fails on World Environment Day
The Queensland Greens claim that plans by Minister for Environment and Heritage, Andrew Powell, to devolve Federal government responsibility for environmental regulation to the States is bad administration and proof the LNP do not understand the principles of good government.
“It is a fundamental principle that those who seek to profit from activity are not also its regulators,’ Queensland Greens spokesperson Dr Libby Connors says. The state government’s craving for coal and gas royalties has already led to environmental regulation of mining being removed from the Department of Environment and Heritage and given to the Department of Mines and Energy.
"So the Department with responsibility for facilitating the mining industry is now also supposed to regulate it.
"But this is the sort of arrangement Minister for the Environment and Heritage wants to repeat with the Federal Government. The state with the vested interest in LNG development and coal ports will alone be responsible for regulating these developments.
"The Minister wants to be Dracula in control of the blood bank and he had the audacity to make the proposal just in time for World Environment Day.’
"Dr Connors points out that the expansion of Federal government environment controls stemmed from a history of repeated failure by the states to manage development effectively.
"In Queensland it began with Bjelke-Petersen’s plans to drill the Great Barrier Reef in the 1960s and refusal to protect the Wet Tropics in the 1980s, both of which required Federal intervention before environmental protection was guaranteed.
"In the south it was a Tasmanian Government that wanted to destroy the Franklin River to earn money from hydro-electricity when the Australian people wanted it protected.
"National opposition was so great to madcap state developments at the expense of environmental considerations that governments won elections on the back of promising Federal environmental protection.
"It is a simple principle of those without vested interest valuing the intrinsic worth of precious places while state governments simply want to take the money and run.
"The Newman government has already shown itself to be an unwilling regulator. Giving it more environmental responsibility will only result in very bad government.
Contact: Libby Connors 0429 487 110
Queensland Greens, PO Box 661, Albion BC, 4010