THE Wild Rivers legislation debate is back in the political forefront with an election day expected to be announced any day; and LNP Leader of the Opposition Tim Nicholls has come in swinging, alleging an “unholy alliance between Labor and the greens”.
Mr Nicholls spoke today (Friday) in Rockhampton, and said he had heard reports the legislation would be revived under the name of the Pristine Rivers legislation.
“This seems to be an unholy alliance between Labor and the Greens who are cooking up a secret plan to deny people in Western Queensland jobs, and to rack up power prices by reducing the amount of gas,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We all know one of the big problems we face in Australia is that there is not enough gas to go around.
“Victoria and New South Wales are the main culprits, but now looks like Labor in Queensland wants to restrict gas exploration and development which will push up power prices and cost regional Queenslanders jobs and the only reason they're going it is in order to get Green preferences.”
When asked what proof he had of an alliance being made or the legislation being introduced – Mr Nicholls said he had heard reports.
“We've seen the stories of the regional mayors who are very concerned,” he said.
“They're hearing reports, they're being consulted, about this so-called Pristine Rivers legislation.
“I simply say to Annastacia Palaszczuk and her colleagues - if it's not true; stand up and deny it but they haven't done that.”
A Queensland Government spokesperson said they are currently considering options for river protections, and will “consult with relevant stakeholders, including industry, Traditional Owners and conservation groups, on any future changes.”
“The Palaszczuk Government knows that a reliable, accessible gas supply is a critical energy and feedstock supply to industry,” the spokesperson said.
“We have no plans to stop existing gas extraction.
“Across the country we’ve been doing the heavy lifting on gas policy and supply since we were elected.
“There is nothing new about Labor's plans to protect the state's unspoiled rivers.
“We committed to river protections at the 2015 election and in each budget since then.”