Anti-coal seam gas lobbyists hope a Senate inquiry into the Newman government will expose its close relationship with the industry.
Anti-coal seam gas lobbyists hope an inquiry into the Queensland government will expose the lack of regulatory controls on the industry.
The Palmer United Party, with the support of Labor and the Greens, has established a Senate inquiry into the Newman government with broad terms of reference.
They include looking at development and environmental approvals, including for coal seam gas projects in Queensland under the current Liberal National Party government and the former Labor government.
The president of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, has welcomed the inquiry, saying it’s urgently needed to restore democracy in Queensland.
“I hope they look at the way in which the Newman government has irresponsibly given the coal seam gas industry everything they have ever asked for,” he told AAP on Wednesday.
He said the LNP had also failed to audit the activities of the industry and there was a “revolving door” between the government and the industry.
“I think that there are so many questions regarding the far-too-close relationship between the Newman government and the coal seam gas industry.”
The six-month inquiry will look also at whether it is appropriate for the federal government to hand its environmental approval powers for major projects to the states.
“In the case of the Newman government, that’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house,” Mr Hutton said.
Acting Premier Jeff Seeney has dismissed the inquiry as an extension of Clive Palmer’s vendetta against the LNP, and says his government has a good record on environmental protection while also supporting the resources sector.
He said the government was acting to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and had recently brokered a deal to stop the dumping of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point port inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.