web analytics

Greens join call for judicial inquiry into Queensland floods

The Queensland Greens are supporting the call for a judicial inquiry into the handling of the Queensland floods as long as the inquiry has appropriately wide terms of reference.

Greens spokesperson Dr Libby Connors said her party would want the inquiry to focus particularly on the issue of planning for strategic river catchments and floodplains and how this could best take account of the uncertainties presented by climate change.

“We are not suggesting an inquiry is needed because of mismanagement by the State Government or its various bodies,” Dr Connors said.

“By and large Queensland agencies seem to have responded well to the crisis but it is clear that, during the last decade, Queensland has been through an unprecedented period of climate variability and we need to learn the lessons from this and develop the necessary infrastructural and institutional responses.

“Rather than having politicians making ill-considered and opportunistic calls for mega-dams and the like, we need a well-resourced, independent and open inquiry.”

Dr Connors said she believed the terms of reference should include looking at the appropriateness of developments such as open cut coal mines and coal seam gas infrastructure on the Condamine and the Fitzroy river catchments which are characterised by periodic flooding and, in particular, on the floodplains of these catchments, given that many of these were forced to release huge amounts of polluted water during the flood.

There are dozens of open cut coal mines currently on the Fitzroy catchment, west of Rockhampton, and around twenty new open cut coal mines proposed for the Queensland section of the Murray Darling Basin. There are also major coal seam gas projects being installed across the Darling Downs.

“Farming and many other activities will still have to occur on floodplains but our society must make some difficult decisions about whether we want potentially polluting or unnecessary infrastructure in these areas,” Dr Connors said.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

© 2017, Action on Coal and Gas