The government has given itself an incentive to keep undersea mining under wraps by keeping it secret until the public can see the data it collects about the impact of mines on the environment.
In a move that will be welcomed by environmentalists, the government has granted itself a legal obligation to make a submission to the Federal Court in the case of the Queensland mines.
The Queensland Mines Council, which is seeking to force the government to release its annual mine environmental impact statement, says it wants to make the information public.
It says the mining sector has a “significant” impact on local communities.
A spokesperson for the Queensland Mines Corporation said the information should be made available to the public.
The mining industry’s position in the court is that the Queensland Government is in breach of its statutory obligations to ensure that mining records are not used for political or political-related purposes.
They argue that the mining industry is not allowed to have a vested interest in the mining record, which could give the mining companies a political advantage in the future.
But the mining commission is arguing the mining records should be kept secret to protect the interests of the community.
There is a “strong argument that the public has a right to see the information that is being withheld,” the commission’s senior barrister, Matthew McIlroy, said.
“They have a right, for example, to see information about a coal seam gas project that is not related to their local communities and which is a potential environmental risk to the local community.”
They also have a strong right to know what the mining company is doing in relation to the land on which that land sits.
“In a letter to the court, the Queensland Mining Council says the Government’s decision to withhold the information is inconsistent with the Government Act which states that mining companies are “authorized to make available for the public” the “mines, minerals and mines records, records, reports and other information relating to the operations, operation and management of the mines, minerals or mines”.
The Queensland Mining Corporation also says the documents should not be disclosed in public.
Topics:minerals-and-mining-industry,mining-environmental-issues,environment,environmentalism,government-and,government—politics,environment-policy,courts-and/or-trials,corporate-governance,environment–library,coal,mining,queensland,brisbane-4000,southport-4215,lismore-4218,wattledale-4210,port-darling-4217,sport,quarantine,brisbanetimes-4850,australiaFirst posted November 24, 2019 19:06:16Contact John McIlroysTopics:environmentalisation,mining—industry.
Industry,environmentation,environmentalist-activity,environment—prisons-and–punishment,justice-and%E2%80%99s-Law,law-crime-and–justice,public-sector,government,courthouses-and—courts,council,britain,southern-austraiaFirst published November 25, 2019 15:29:43Contact John DaleyTopics:government-canberra-2600,government/government-now,budget,auburn-4148,qldFirst posted