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Powell Media Release – Straddie short changed with Labor’s political park deal (18 December 2011)

LABOR’S latest policy on the run on Stradbroke Island was a land grab for green preferences on the eve of an election, not green outcomes, the State Opposition said today

 LNP Shadow Environment Minister Andrew Powell said that when you look closely Labor’s announcement today showed the Bligh government were not serious about the environment, instead only interested in rolling over for Green preferences.

 “This is another attempt by the Bligh government to distract from the Queensland Health debacle, not about genuine national parks,” said Mr Powell.

 “What the Bligh government is not telling Queenslanders is that the extended national park now incorporates un-rehabilitated areas including a tailings dam which sand-miner Sibelco would have had a responsibility to restore but won’t be able to if it is in government hands.

 “The cost of rehabilitating local vegetation due to bad planning is estimated to be in the millions.  The rehabilitation of the tailings dam alone could cost the taxpayer $5 million*. 

 “A significant section will be national park in name only and the Bligh government expects Queenslanders to pay extra for Labor’s political needs.

 “The majority of the new park is off limits because of important mine safety protocols – meaning tourists will have to cross mining lease areas creating public safety issues, proving this is another rushed, poorly planned PR opportunity to meet the political timelines of Anna Bligh and the ALP.

 “The LNP this year announced our plan to give everyone the right to use more of our national parks and will encourage Queenslanders to access national parks – through walking, camping and, where appropriate, 4WD and mountain bikes,” said Mr Powell.

 LNP local Member Dr Mark Robinson echoed Mr Powell’s concerns.

 “Straddie’s 2500 locals were ignored by the Premier from the beginning – this announcement is in the Premier’s political interests, not Straddie’s residents and visitors,” said Dr Robinson.

 “The Premier unexpectedly dropped her Greens inspired national parks plan on the residents one fateful day in June 2010 during a FIFO helicopter trip to the island and has ignored the local’s rejection of it ever since.

 “The LNP supports the Quandamooka people and more national park on Straddie, that’s why we developed the CanDo team’s national parks policy which will deliver a better result for national parks users and give tourists the opportunity to discover a greater part of our magnificent local natural environment.

 “Today’s announcement fails to deliver better outcomes, especially because access issues remain unresolved.

 “It’s time for a change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track.”

 * (According to Sibelco calculations to 2020).




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