Not a single mining or gas project slated for Queensland’s best agricultural land has been refused since planning legislation was changed five years ago, according to a new analysis.
The Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 (Qld) (RPIA) was introduced by the Campbell Newman Government on a promise to ‘address the power imbalance between farmers and resource proponents and quite rightly prioritise agricultural activity on what is a finite and critical resource for Queensland’.
However, a new expert legal review of 42 resource approvals granted under the RPIA since 2014 has found that not one has been rejected.
These approvals have been granted for resource activities in mapped priority regional interest areas, including priority agricultural areas, strategic cropping land, priority living areas, or strategic environmental areas.
The proposed Moreton Resources coal mine on prime farmland at Kingaroy is an example of how badly this regional planning system has failed. The mine would sit on mapped Strategic Cropping Land on some of Queensland’s most fertile soils, just 6km from Kingaroy.