14 July 2017

Green Tape Reduction Bill written by Labor

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes has slammed Noosa Councillors Stockwell and Jurisevic for blaming the LNP, when it was the Bligh Labor Government who introduced legislation to reduce ‘green tape’.

“The Green Tape Reduction Bill was originally authored and introduced by the Bligh Labor Government’s Environment Minister, Vicky Darling MP.

“If not for Labor’s defeat at the 2012 election, the Bill would have been passed by the Labor Government as proposed.

“The Bill was resubmitted and unchanged by the Newman Government, and was passed, as it would have been by Labor if they had retained power.

“Both sides of parliament agreed that there was too much paperwork holding the Environment Protect Agency back, preventing officers from effectively enforcing the Environmental Protection Act and its many laws.

“One of the goals of green tape reduction was to identify businesses with well-known environmental risks who could be reasonably expected to apply EPA prescribed, simple and relatively low cost mitigation and prevention actions.

“I am extremely concerned about the latest water quality results from Eenie Creek and I am disappointed that some businesses are not as dedicated to protecting our precious environment as others are, and I suggest that the vast members of the community are also shocked to know this, and would love to know the names of the businesses involved.

“It is always the responsibility of businesses and operators to abide by the law and the green tape reduction laws did not reduce this responsibility. At some point one must be able to reasonably expect compliance if there is a genuine regard for the environment in the first place.

“Businesses call for less regulatory control and when Government does get off their backs, this is what happens. The offending businesses, of which there are just a few, need to comply with the law immediately or I will call for greater controls and regular inspections from the EPA.

“In addition it is also the responsibility of the community to report pollution to the EPA pollution hotline if they see it. If either Cr Stockwell or Cr Jurisevic had their eye on the ‘Eenie Creek ball’ then might I suggest at the very least, the hotline may have been the place to start.

“Environmental Protection is of paramount importance and the more officers available to enforce the laws by being in the field the better outcomes for the environment.

“Poor industry compliance to strict environmental laws is not new and of course has challenged all administrations in the past, be them local, state or otherwise.

Cr Stockwell said and I quote SCD and NN 14 July 2017:

“My criticism, and its vehement is of the stupidity of the Newman government in their green tape reduction”.

“Well let me put it you Cr Stockwell, as an ex State Government employee, a Labor party member and an ex Labor candidate for Noosa, if anyone should know the facts to this story it should be you.

“Cr Stockwell is taking cheap, irresponsible political pot shots and I suggest he and his colleagues report fact over fiction in future,” Mr Elmes said.