Evidence presented to a federal parliamentary committee shows that Labor and the Greens are responsible for the “snake and skink” delay to the Carmichael Mine Project, holding up 10,000 jobs in Central Queensland for perhaps a year or more.
“Last year, the Liberal National Government moved to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to ensure that mere bureaucratic oversights would not unnecessarily hold up job creating projects,” Queensland Senator Matt Canavan said today.
“Those amendments were opposed in the Senate by the Labor party and the Greens.
“The Department of the Environment confirmed to a Senate Committee in Canberra today that, if those amendments had been put in place, the latest delay to the project – involving minor bureaucratic glitches in paperwork about the yakka skink and the ornamental snake – would not have arisen.”
Senator Canavan said he put a direct question today to Enviornment Department head Gordon De Brouwer, asking: “Can I just confirm then, in this case, is it your view that if those amendments had been enacted there would have been no reason for this decision to be set aside on these grounds?”
“Dr De Brouwer confirmed this and stated: ‘In this case, the conditioning around the snake and the skink were fully addressed, and if the legislative amendments had been made, and they had been prospective, then that would have covered this particular instance’.
“In Central and North Queensland, the Labor party say they support coal mining: they say they support the Carmichael project. But down south in Canberra, they do something completely different: Labor vote with the Greens. They vote to delay new mining jobs.
“The Labor party need to decide: do they support jobs in Central Queensland or support the Greens in Canberra. A direct decision of the Labor party in this case to support the Greens has delayed creation of thousands of new jobs in Central Queensland.
“The Government’s amendments were included in the Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 and were in direct response to this technical loophole arising in a decision by the former Labor government on an iron ore mine in Tasmania.”