Ray Hopper.
Ray Hopper. Greg Miller / Sunshine Coast Daily

KAP CSG bill labelled “economic suicide”

A PROPOSED coal seam gas bill introduced by Katter's Australia Party state leader Ray Hopper has been labelled as "economic suicide" by a Queensland parliamentary committee.

Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee chair Ian Rickuss was scathing in his report on the proposed Protection of Prime Agricultural Land and Other Land from Coal Seam Gas Mining Bill which Mr Hopper introduced into State Parliament in June.

Mr Rickuss said in his report, tabled in State Parliament this week, that it was the third Katter's Australian Party bill the committee had examined.

"Sadly, as with the previous KAP bills we have examined, the Member for Condamine's bill is a piece of sophistry," he said.

"It is quite simply a pantomime with no fresh ideas or genuine legislative reforms.

"It appears instead to be aimed at helping KAP win support from a group of people in the community who are feeling vulnerable and threatened.

"This time it is people affected by the rapidly expanding coal seam gas industry."

Mr Rickuss said Mr Hopper had showed little interest in the committee process after introducing the bill.

"Again, like previous KAP bills, the bill has more errors than detail, is ill-conceived and short on substance," he said.

"Frankly, I am not sure that the honourable member understands fully what he has proposed in this bill."

Mr Rickuss said what Mr Hopper had proposed would severely damage Queensland's economy and reputation.

"The Member for Condamine's bill pretends that logic, science and economics do not exist," he said.

"This bill is quite dangerous with its nonsensical proposal to scrap legally granted coal seam gas exploration and mining rights across vast areas of the state and to prevent affected companies,

operating within the law, from seeking compensation," he said.

"This would raise sovereign risk issues of mammoth proportions for Queensland."

Mr Rickuss said what Mr Hopper was proposing in the bill would come at great cost to the 30,000-plus workers in the coal seam gas industry and their families as well as the thousands of other businesses and their workers who are tied one way or another to the industry.


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