Green activists are outraged by a report the Queensland government has let a coal company staffer write its environment policy.
The Queensland government has given the “keys to the blood bank to Dracula” by letting a mining company staffer write its environmental policies, activists say.
The ABC is reporting QCoal’s corporate affairs chief James Mackay has been in charge of developing the LNP’s environment policy since 2012.
Mr Mackay also worked full-time for the LNP during the 2012 election, while he was being paid $10,000 a month by the coal company, the ABC says.
Greenpeace says the revelations are extraordinary.
“(Premier) Campbell Newman says ‘we’re in the coal business’. Well, it actually looks like his government is the coal business,” program director Ben Pearson told AAP.
“The Queensland government has handed the keys to the blood bank over to Dracula. It’s just ridiculous.”
Australian Marine Conservation Society spokeswoman Felicity Wishart says the report reveals the hold miners have on the Newman government.
The government is clearly happy to put mining ahead of all other interests, including the environment, she says.
Mr Mackay has chaired the LNP’s state environment and heritage protection committee, which develops policy for discussion at the party’s annual conference, since 2012, the ABC reports.
QCoal owner billionaire Chris Wallin is one of the LNP’s biggest donors, reportedly giving the party $120,000 in two donations just before the 2012 poll.
One was for the “loan” of Mr Mackay to the LNP between January and March 2012.
An LNP spokesman told the ABC there was no conflict of interest involving Mr Mackay, who had disclosed his employment with QCoal.
QCoal is embroiled in controversy over plans to divert Coral Creek in north Queensland to mine coal underneath.
The diversion was approved by the state government without requiring a new or amended environmental impact assessment, despite being classed as an assessment that carried “risk of serious harm”, the ABC reports.
Premier Campbell Newman says the diversion of the creek was ticked off in 2010, when Labor was in power.
After objections, it then went through the Land Court.
“Again, what do we have from the Labor Party,” the premier asked in parliament on Tuesday.
“Phantom of the Opera efforts, scary organ music and lightning.
“Let us be very clear: this decision was made by the Australian Labor Party Bligh government and the Land Court of Queensland, and I table the documents.”
QCoal said in a statement that Mr Mackay declared his voluntary work with the LNP to Electoral Commission Queensland in July 2012.
“Mr Mackay’s role within the LNP is as part of the environment and heritage policy standing committee,” it said.
“This committee does not directly inform government policy.”