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Member for Burdekin speaks out on Glenden

Member for Burdekin Dale Last, 2.08pm State Parliament, April 18, 2024

Well, who could forget the 23rd of August last year when the Police Minister speaking on the Child Protection, Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition and Other Legislation Amendment Bill introduced an amendment to the Mineral Resources Act 1989 regarding the community of Glenden. An amendment introduced without any scrutiny by parliamentary committee, and an amendment introduced without any consultation with QCoal the company at the centre of this amendment, and it defies belief Mr Deputy Speaker that in a desperate attempt to appear relevant gave the members of this House just 18 minutes to consider an amendment that would, according to those opposite or save Glenden.

Well, the question is, Mr. Deputy Speaker has this amendment saved Glenden? Well, last week I spent time in Glenden where I spoke with residents and business owners, and eight months after that amendment passed through Parliament, I can categorically say that nothing has changed in that community and that community continues to wither on the vine and look for help and look for assistance, and it's highly likely that nothing will change.

Following QCoal’s advice that a substantial number of their workers would rather resign than move to Glenden forcibly, and when the Courier Mail ran a story relating to Glenden on March 30 the comments section of their website came to life, with contributors comparing the actions of this government to those we see in North Korea or China.

As one contributor commented, this is a breach of human rights. Workers from Byerwen mine have contacted me directly saying that they will quit their job before they uproot their families and that is yet again a fact this government failed to consider.

One worker who owns a home near Airlie Beach hit the nail on the head when he said this government was telling him that they would decide where his children went to school, and that this government was telling him that his wife would need to resign from her job in a medical practice.

This amendment is in almost complete opposition to the Strong and Sustainable Resources Community Act of 2017, which according to the government will ensure residents of communities within 125-kilometre radius of a large resource project will benefit from the operation of those projects. If that act were applied in the case of Glenden, mines as far north as Collinsville and as far south as Saraji would need to contribute to Glenden’s future.

No, this amendment set a precedent that when this government wants a good headline no one is safe. By engaging in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and workers there is no doubt that we can find a solution and ensure Glenden’s future. After all, we all have a responsibility to ensure that is exactly what happens.


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