Glenn Lazarus’ immediate rejection of legislation changes to stop green groups from sabotaging job creating projects in Queensland demonstrates his loyalty still lies with the Blues, not the Maroons.
Four regional-based Queensland Senators – Matt Canavan, Ian Macdonald, James McGrath and Barry O'Sullivan – have tackled the ex-NSW forward for his “anti-Queensland” tactics.
“This is a very serious issue, with thousands of regional Queensland jobs at stake,” Rockhampton-based Senator Canavan said. “The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine was stopped thanks to legal action brought by the NSW Environmental Defenders Office.
“As a Senator from Central Queensland, I think the people of North and Central Queensland deserve to be heard on this important project before interstate green groups. Glenn Lazarus is backing activists in NSW ahead of jobs in Queensland. He is betraying the interests of Queensland by doing so."
Senator Macdonald said he doesn’t normally agree with Clive Palmer but believes he is right on one issue.
“I agree with him that Glenn Lazarus is proving to be an untrustworthy Senator. He was elected on an anti-green platform of opposition to the carbon tax and the mining tax. Since being elected, he is voting lock step with the Greens. Voters don't like having their trust breached but Glenn is on the pathway to doing that,” said Townsville-based Senator Macdonald.
“The Townsville region needs mining jobs for its prosperity and they’re being blocked unnecessarily by organisations that are just philosophically opposed to mining. People here aren’t happy about that.”
Senator O’Sullivan said the Government's proposed changes would not only help coal mining jobs be created but also is important to develop agriculture in northern Queensland.
“Green groups have already said they oppose dam and irrigation developments in North Queensland and they no doubt they will bring the same tactics of legal sabotage to agriculture projects unless something is changed,” said Senator O'Sullivan, who is based in Toowoomba. “Dams and other infrastructure projects are vital for creating more jobs in the bush.
“Glenn Lazarus claims he’s doing the hard yards for Queensland but his support for interstate green activists shows that he hasn't changed the colour of his jersey yet. He is making more metres for New South Wales right now."
Senator McGrath said the Government has decided to protect Australian jobs by removing from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) the provision that allows activists to engage in vigilante litigation to stop important economic projects, and legislation will be introduced into the Parliament for passage through the House of Representatives this week.
“Glenn Lazarus’ immediate rejection of this change demonstrates he is not interested in creating and protecting jobs in regional Queensland,” Senator McGrath said. “He’s sitting high in an inner-city office looking after inner-city interests.
“By opposing this change, he will be helping radical activists who have a political, but not a legal interest, in a development use litigation tactics to disrupt important projects, at a real cost to Queensland jobs.
“The Government is going to return the law to the traditional common law position, where somebody with a legitimate interest in commencing a legal action has standing to do so but somebody who merely wants to prosecute a political cause does not.
“In opposing that change, Glenn Lazarus continues to side with the Greens and Labor and oppose creation of more jobs for Queenslanders.”