Environment needs to be protected
IT IS obvious to anyone who has worked on or observed the diversion and mining of Coral Creek Collinsville North Queensland by the QCoal Sonoma mine, that something has gone seriously wrong with the government approvals and regulation processes.
QCoal promised to protect Coral Creek with a buffer zone in their community consultations and EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) until they received approval for the Sonoma mine, and then applied for an amendment to mine it.
We also learn that the Federal Government has weakened the conditions of the EPBCA (Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act) Referral that required the planting of 500 Black Ironbox trees in Coral Creek as a biodiversity offset, after the plantings all died.
Natural regeneration is now going to be relied on yet may fail as in the 2012 QCoal Drake mine EIS, three CSIRO Climate Change reports predict longer dry spells interrupted by heavier precipitation events and an increase in severe cyclones with the potential to increase erosion rates and flood frequency, with implications for river flows, water quality, and the design standards of infrastructure.
Anyone who has had anything to do with the EIS process and consultant reports on mining operations is aware that they are anything but independent.
There is an urgent need for an inquiry into the environmental regulation processes in Queensland and Australia.
A solution to this systemic problem is a statutory authority that keeps the developers and governments at arm’s length from the consultants so that reports consider all the costs and benefits for all of the community and future generations.
The present situation is destroying our environment and ecosystem services for
short term profit at the expense of our community’s viability and the inheritance of our children and future generations. — Garry Reed, Scottville WITH our strengthening economy comes a particular need for quality, skilled tradespeople.
The Morrison Government’s $60 million apprentice subsidy scheme will help meet this need while simultaneously turbo-charging the future careers of go-getter young men and women in the Whitsundays.
The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy pilot will significantly subsidise the cost of apprentices to Whitsundays’ businesses.
Eligible employers in areas such as plumbing, mechanical, electrical, carpentry and hairdressing will receive payments based on relevant award wage rates.
Subsidies will be provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year.
The scheme will be trialled from January 1, 2019 under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.
It’s an incentive that I’m
confident will encourage businesses and employers to engage a new apprentice and I expect a high take-up.
Employers in the Whitsundays will also have an incentive to take on an apprentice aged 21 to 24 under the Morrison Government’s extended Support for Adult Australian Apprentices scheme.
From July next year, eligible employers will receive a one-off payment of $4000 to take on an adult apprentice in this revised age range, which until now has been available only for those aged 25 and over.
A trade qualification is every bit as important to the
economy as a university degree and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of these practical and constructive schemes.
Visit www.australian apprenticeships.gov.au/ publications/australianapprentice-wage-subsidy for more details.
— George Christensen,
Member for Dawson
Apprentice program to trial in 2019