In 2014, when introducing the Regional Planning Interests Act (RPIA), the LNP Government said that it would ‘address the power imbalance between farmers and resource proponents’ and prioritise ‘agricultural activity on what is a finite and critical resource for Queensland’.
However, new analysis shows that mining continues to pose an enormous threat to areas identified as Regional Planning Interest zones under the RPIA. Since the Act came into force in 2014, a total of 42 resource projects have been approved under the Act, 3 under the former LNP Government and 39 under the current Labor Government.
The Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 (and associated regulation) is designed to ‘manage the impact of resource activities’ on areas of regional interest. It identifies four areas of regional interest:
- Priority Agricultural Areas
- Priority Living Areas
- Strategic Cropping Areas
- Strategic Environmental Areas
New analysis released today indicates, however, that the RPIA has not been effective in limiting resource threats to regional planning interest areas. In fact, the analysis reveals for the first time that 7.7 million hectares of mapped regional interest areas are covered by mining or gas titles, equating to 37% of all mapped regional interest areas in Queensland. Therefore, of the highest priority areas for agriculture, living areas and environment identified in Queensland, 37% of it is still being targeted for resource activities.
Read and download the full report here and check out the statewide mapping below...