THE Wilderness Society’s blatant influence over Labor could cost Far North Queensland another mining project that would generate thousands of jobs and revive the region’s economy.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has revoked a decision to approve Rio Tinto’s proposed $1.5 billion bauxite mine and port development based on an inaccurate single-page submission by TWS.
The Wilderness Society has seemingly produced random figures in a desperate attempt to block this project. It is a well-known fact that this so-called conservation group is out to disrupt and delay mining projects to destroy economic opportunities while they continue to push their agenda of imposing blanket World Heritage status on Cape York against the will of the majority of Cape York residents.
In this case they are concocting additional shipping movements through the Great Barrier Reef to stop this project. Not only have they greatly exaggerated the number of ships leaving the port, but they have failed to acknowledge that most of the ships leaving Weipa will go north to export markets in Asia.
If their argument about shipping activity failed, TWS had in their reserve arsenal other reasons to stop this project, namely the impact a bare-rumped sheathtail bat and a crab. They are just determined to disrupt economic advancement in Cape York. If the project was not to continue, it would have a devastating impact on the economy of Weipa, with more than 1800 jobs under threat and the long-term future of Weipa in jeopardy
Labor’s willingness to pander to the likes of the Wilderness Society is coming at the expense of regional areas such as Cape York.
These moves follow a raft of decisions implemented by Labor, both state and federal, who are just pandering to the demands of green groups in an attempt to secure Greens preferences. Their whole aim is to destroy any economic opportunity and destroy quality of life in a cynical effort to lock up Cape York through blanket World Heritage listing.
This agenda commenced years ago when the State Government effectively destroyed tenure security for Cape York leaseholders and use this insecurity to acquire large tracts of productive pastoral land, converting it into unmanned and unmanaged national parks over-run with weeds and feral animals that negatively impact on adjoining landholders.
This was quickly followed by the implementation of their flawed wild rivers initiative that has seen Cape Alumina scrap its $1.2 billion bauxite mine near Mapoon in 2010. That project would’ve created about 1300 jobs for Far North Queensland, many of them for the old Mapoon community.
The ripple effect of Wild Rivers has seen most economic opportunities for landholders stall. We’ve seen the continued go-slow campaign for the Peninsula Development Road upgrade, the refusal to upgrade health services in Weipa, which also faces the prospect of losing its private doctors practice because of a reluctance to provide ongoing funding, the appalling condition of Cooktown Hospital which is long overdue for replacement and the withdrawal of renal services in Bamaga.
We’ve seen the guts ripped out of the commercial fishing industry with long-term Gulf fishers like Walter and Louis Komsic denied the opportunity to make a living. The continued imposition of restrictions and conditions by the current state and federal Labor governments responding to the demands of the Wilderness Society is continuing to have an increasing negative impact on the quality of life of Cape York community residents.
TWS writes Labor’s policies and dictates their every move. They are an implementation branch of both governments. Because of this, the ALP is destroying our economy. This is yet another reason to get rid of them at both the state and federal level.