LNP digs in with Galilee promise
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington will today announce a major pre-election pitch to Queensland's coal country to give miners certainty and to create thousands of new jobs.
As the State Government's Environment Department prepares to make a decision on Adani's final environmental approval for its Carmichael coal mine today, The Courier-Mail can reveal Ms Frecklington will use her Budget reply speech to outline a plan to drive development in the basin and create thousands of jobs.
Ms Frecklington will commit to a 10-year royalties freeze as well as an overhaul of the environmental approvals process for mine applications.
Resource royalties collected from the basin will be funnelled into a new infrastructure fund to be spent across the state as well, under the pledge.
Ms Frecklington will use her Budget reply speech to capitalise on Labor's flip-flopping on the Adani project as well as its $476 million gas royalties hike unveiled in Tuesday's Budget and its new "voluntary" $100 million infrastructure fund that will require resource companies to contribute cash in exchange for a three-year royalties freeze.
She accused the Palaszczuk Government of "betraying" mining communities and stalling $50 billion in mining projects.
"Labor has fought the opening of the Galilee Basin for four years," Ms Frecklington said. "I am going to stop Labor's politicisation of the approvals process for new mining projects."
Ms Frecklington said an LNP Government would publish, track and report on key performance indicators for environmental approvals under a new framework for the sector.
"The framework will respect our environment, but it will also respect the needs of industry," she said.
Ms Frecklington said the LNP would also appoint a new Queensland Resources Industry Commissioner to promote the state to international investors.
It comes after the Government last month did not renew former Commissioner Caoilin Chestnutt's contract and axed the role, preferring to bring the responsibilities for spruiking resources inside Trade and Investment Queensland instead.
Ms Chestnutt made international headlines during a trip to India in February when she described the Adani mine approvals process as a "mess".
The Environment Department indicated it was on track to meet today's decision deadline on Adani's groundwater management plan after receiving more questions from the CSIRO last week.
It comes as multiple Labor MPs who publicly aired their concerns about regional voter backlash in the wake of the party's Federal Election drubbing last night rose in parliament to defend the Government's record.