|Proposed land cropping policy a sovereign risk to resources sector: QRC|
|Thursday, 14 October 2010 10:40|
Planned investment of $22 billion by Queensland Resources Council members is at risk under the Queensland government's proposed strategic cropping land policy, according to Michael Roche, chief executive of the mining lobby.
Mr Roche said the policy could quarantine up to four per cent of Queensland's land mass from development. He also said this would put at risk current and planned investment by QRC members totalling some $22 billion, and it needed to go back to the drawing board.
"The policy would potentially quarantine large parcels of land that could not be fairly designated high-value cropping land," Mr Roche said as he released the QRC's submission on the state government's cropping land policy framework.
"Much of the land included in the government's proposed trigger maps is not currently used for cropping.
"Currently-cropped Class A land is approximately 1.5 per cent of Queensland, and you would expect that so-called strategic cropping land would be a small sub-set of this.
"By contrast, all the land currently being mined or ever mined in Queensland covers less than 0.1 per cent of the state's land mass."
Mr Roche said the state government policy was a simplistic, populist reaction that would impose a significant sovereign risk on the resources sector and create an unwieldy precedent for future policy on competing land uses.
"We believe the government should have faith in its existing environmental impact statement assessment process that has evolved through time as a highly sophisticated instrument for making decisions in the public interest," he said.
Mr Roche said the level of community interest in the issue required a full consultation process on the proposed strategic cropping land policy, not an artificial deadline set by an unrealistic target to have legislation into the parliament early in 2011.
Pic: QRC chief executive, Michael Roche.
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