LNP regional conservation plans could accelerate approval for destructive projects

The LNP have announced they want to spend $128 million to introduce regional conservation plans. Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) are concerned this could be another attempt to erode environmental protections for threatened species such as the koala in Queensland’s regions. 

“We do not need faster approval for climate destroying coal mines and gas wells, against landholder, traditional owner and wider community objections,” said Dave Copeman, Director of QCC. 

QCC believes that the LNP’s announcement is another attempt to water down the already limited Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act and puts at risk important measures that protect vulnerable species such as the endangered Koala. 

This is not the considered reform process that Graeme Samuel recommended in his review of the Act. It does not include National Standards for environmental protection that are non-negotiable parts of any reform. 

“This feels like a pre-election media announcement, not real reform, and it’s not what we need.

 “The priority right now is flood recovery, dealing with the losses people have faced, a disaster made more severe by rising temperatures and sea levels,” Mr Copeman said. “We shouldn’t be rushing to reduce environmental protections, particularly for new fossil fuel projects. 

“The fact that our Federal Minister for the Environment is lining up to do a joint announcement with the Minister for Resources concerns us. These plans must not be used to fast track mining, whilst throwing out critical protections for our environment,” Mr Copeman said. 

Right now, this $128 million proposal for regional conservation plans sits on Minister Ley’s desk next to a pile of applications for coal and gas projects, including Waratah Coal’s new coal power station.

Media contact: Dave Copeman 0408841595 [email protected]