Coalition & Labor vote against ICAC recommendation on mining licences
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today condemned the Government and Labor Party for voting against an amendment to the Mining and Petroleum Acts to establish an Independent Expert Mine Licencing Committee as recommended by the Independent Commission Against Corruption following the inquiries into corruptly granted coal mining licences.
The Government and Labor Party combined to defeat the Greens amendment 29 votes to 5 votes. They also combined to replace a broad ‘public interest power’ to cancel mining licences and replace it with a narrower ‘fit and proper person’ test.
The Independent Expert Mine Licencing Committee would provide publicly available advice to the Minister on mining exploration licence applications after:
- conducting a triple bottom line assessment
- assessing likelihood that the application will progress to production phase
- assessing the financial capacity of applicant to fund exploration and production activities
- assessing applications against a set of strategic objectives, priorities and outcomes for allocation of mineral and petroleum resources
“It’s clear that both the Coalition and the Labor Party are still captive of the mining industry after they failed to back an ICAC reform to implement an independent and transparent process for assessing mining and gas exploration licence applications,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“Only the Greens are genuine about cleaning up politics in NSW, especially when it comes to the outsized influence the big mining companies wield.
“Since 1999, the mining sector has donated $5,753,721 to the Liberal, National and Labor parties and they are still not prohibited political donors. It is no wonder that both major parties refuse to implement an independent and transparent licence assessment process.
“It is a great pity the broad public interest powers to cancel mining licences has been restricted to a ‘fit and proper person’ test. There are many licences that have been granted in inappropriate areas and the government should have the power to act in the public interest,” he said.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916
You can watch the video of Jeremy outlining this amendment in parliament here
You can see the transcripts of all the speeches and the final votes on the Greens amendments here