Why do we need a People's Bill?

At every turn, people and communities in Queensland are losing out to the interests of multinational mining corporations.  Local businesses are being damaged, people are being pushed off their land, and precious water resources are under threat.  The mining industry has the inside track with the Queensland Government - unfettered access to politicians and undue influence on decisions.  To restore the balance, the people of Queensland have launched their own 'People’s Common Rights and Provisions Bill'.  It's time to clean up the political system in this state and give the people back their parliament, their land, water and rights.

Objectives of the Bill

  • To shine a light on the failures in control and governance of mining in Qld
  • To set a standard for mining law reform that reflects community values and protects our natural assets
  • To expose democratic failures, loss of community rights and institutionalised corruption in mining in Qld
  • To expose the steps taken by the Newman government to weaken and undermine community rights          

 

The main elements of the Bill

  • The right to say “no” to mining
  • The right to our health, livelihoods and the quiet enjoyment of our homes
  • The right to be represented in parliament
  • The right to our common heritage - the land, water and clean air
  • The right to object and have our objections heard
  • The right to clean politics 

 

Background

The People’s Bill is in direct response to the State Government’s draconian Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014.

If this proposed Bill becomes law it will directly attack the rights of Queenslanders, with 90 per cent of proposed mining projects excluded from community comment or objection.

The proposed Bill will:

  • Remove existing community notification rights and rights to object to mining lease applications for everyone but those whose properties are directly impacted by a mine.
  • Exclude neighbours, community members and public interest groups that are affected by downstream, community-wide and long-term impacts from mining projects from being able to lodge objections – your water, your land and your community can be put in jeopardy and your voice won’t count.
  • Limit the matters that courts can consider when hearing objections to mining projects and remove all-important “restricted land status” which is one of the few rights that landholders retain in guarding their castle, their home, from the invasion of mining companies. No-one should have the land surrounding their house destroyed by an open-cut mine, yet this new Bill would make that possible – and we will have no right to object.

 

We think the changes being made to Queensland’s laws to help the mining industry go too far and leave ordinary Queenslanders as second-class citizens in their own state. The compulsory acquisitions, the hand-outs of water licences, the refusal to allow neighbours to object to mining projects that will destroy their groundwater  are totally unfair.

Even corruption-buster Tony Fitzgerald has spoken out about the corruption risks and poor governance in Queensland, stating that 'Queensland is extremely vulnerable to the misuse and abuse of power' - READ MORE