News

Scientists, farmers, Indigenous leaders' water trigger plea

AN ALLIANCE of farmers, scientists and indigenous leaders have made a last-ditch appeal to the Senate, imploring them to vote against the proposed handover of the Commonwealth "water trigger" powers to the states.

The original water trigger legislation allows the Commonwealth to intervene, or impose conditions on any major coal or coal-seam gas development if it is deemed to threaten strategic water resources.

Under the amendments those powers will be transferred to the states, with the final Senate vote expected to take place this week.

Critics have pointed out that state governments are already charged with regulating the industry and are also the recipient of its tax royalties, creating a potential conflict of interest.

In a statement, the group, which includes former independent New England MP Tony Windsor, said the issue was "too important to leave to state and territory governments and their vested interests".

"The National Party will be voting against the farmers' interests if they vote for the bill," the group's statement said.

Page MP Kevin Hogan supported the changes in the Lower House but said only because he was able to include some important safeguards.

A key amendment would make it compulsory for all state governments to seek advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development when assessing projects.

The second amendment would let the Commonwealth request advice from the IESC, including whether the state government had taken into account the IESC's advice in its decision.

The Federal Environment Minister can also "call in" the approval if they are not satisfied.

Mr Windsor described the move as a "retrograde step". "We need to maintain an independent process that people trust."

Topics:  coal seam gas environment



Going organic: $4m university research centre announced

Southern Cross university and NSW Dept Primary Industries celebrate their coming together to create the Centre for Organics Research at the Lismore campus. L-R Prof Graham King, Vice Chancellor Prof Adam Shoemaker, Dr Phil Wright, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Prof Geraldine Mackenzie, Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor AM, Hon Thomas George MP and Lorraine Gordon.

Shedding its hippy roots, organic food goes under the microscope

3.5m great white shark spotted near divers

Mark Ross took this photo off Shelly Beach, Ballina, this morning, of what is believed to be a boat installing shark nets.

DPI promises measures to reduce deaths of "non target" animals

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Local Partners

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

Lismore's carols get the X Factor

Sydney pop duo Jess Dunbar and Matt Price, known from the 2015 season of Australia’s X Factor, will perform at the 2016 Shopbaby Carols in the Heart at Lismore.

X Factor stars Jess and Matt to headline the family event

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Mark Hamill unaware his co-stars were romantically involved

Hamill too "self-involved" at the time to notice, he said

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!