Re­sponse to David Lit­tleproud

Chinchilla News - - NEWS -

RE­GARD­ING Minister’s re­sponse in last week’s Chin­chilla News (18/10/18) Cameby Con­cerned Cit­i­zens Group would make the fol­low­ing com­ments:

Had Fed­eral Agri­cul­tural and Wa­ter Re­sources Minister David Lit­tleproud bothered to re­search the EPBC Act, he would re­alise that:

1. Sec­tion 528 of the EPBC Act de­fined Coal Seam Gas (CSG) de­vel­op­ment as “any ac­tiv­ity in­volv­ing CSG ex­trac­tion that has, or is likely to have, a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on wa­ter re­sources (in­volv­ing any im­pacts of as­so­ci­ated salt pro­duc­tion and/or salin­ity)...”. There­fore, the act was clearly de­signed to cover ‘any im­pacts’ of salt pro­duc­tion as­so­ci­ated with CSG, and we be­lieve this is why the We Kando salt dump should be caught by the wa­ter trig­ger in the Act.

2. The gov­ern­ment does not have to leave it to a com­pany to de­cide whether they re­fer an ac­tiv­ity to the EPBC Act. The Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Minister has power un­der Sec­tion 70 of the EPBC Act to re­quest a com­pany to re­fer a de­vel­op­ment to them. That is an im­por­tant power and one CCCG is ask­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to ex­er­cise.

Re­cently David Lit­tleproud com­pared the straw­berry sabo­teurs to ter­ror­ists and ac­cused them of be­ing par­a­sites. “They should swing for this!”, he said in a re­cent interview on Ra­dio Na­tional. He went on to talk about Aus­tralian food de­fence ca­pa­bil­ity.

“We have to learn from this,” he said, “the stan­dard we walk past is the stan­dard we ac­cept”. David Lit­tleproud con­cluded his interview re­gard­ing the biose­cu­rity cri­sis in the straw­berry in­dus­try by say­ing that he would “make de­ci­sions based on sci­ence not emo­tion” – the same ad­vice he gave to CCCG last year in re­la­tion to the CSG toxic salt dump.

Sadly the minister’s bravado quickly melts away out­side of the me­dia spot­light. CCCG have pre­sented David Lit­tleproud with:

■ Con­cerns over the deeply flawed ap­provals process for the toxic CSG dump;

■ Com­pelling sci­en­tif­i­cally based ev­i­dence in re­la­tions to hu­man health and biose­cu­rity is­sues sur­round­ing the fa­cil­ity;

■ Ev­i­dence that the fed­eral EPBC Act con­tains the nec­es­sary trig­ger for fed­eral in­ter­ven­tion.

We re­mind the minister that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment signed off on var­i­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact stud­ies con­cern­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the CSG in­dus­try; toxic salt is­sues were swept aside in a process of busi­ness first, en­vi­ron­ment sec­ond. The stor­age of toxic salt has now in­evitably be­come an is­sue.

If David Lit­tleproud dis­putes any of this in­for­ma­tion, we would wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss th­ese is­sues with him in more de­tail.

The out­come we seek is that this CSG toxic dump be re­lo­cated away from the Condamine catch­ment and away from Pri­or­ity Agri­cul­tural Land. Let the CSG in­dus­try deal re­spon­si­bly with it’s own waste. CCCG is again ask­ing our Fed­eral Mem­ber, the Minister for Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources, to be our ad­vo­cate at a fed­eral level and to dili­gently pur­sue what we be­lieve should be ev­ery Aus­tralia’s in­alien­able right – the right to clean air, clean wa­ter, clean soil and clean food.

We hope the Minister shares our con­vic­tion.

— David Mc­Cabe CCCG Chair­per­son

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