Proposed "low impact mines" can now avoid notifying public

PROPOSED "low-impact mines" will no longer have to notify the public about environmental authority applications under new laws that passed through parliament overnight.

Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said coal and large-scale mines would still have to follow the current notification process.

The Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill - touted as modernising Queensland's resources legislation - came up against fierce opposition when it went through the parliamentary committee process.

Shine Lawyers, which has helped negotiate hundreds of land-access arrangements in the past six years, and industry group Cotton Australia feared landholders would be worse off when it came to their rights, suggesting public objection rights for 90% of proposed mines would be lost.

Opposition environment spokeswoman Jackie Trad, objecting to the bill in Queensland Parliament overnight, said landholders no longer able to object would include an agricultural producer with a creek running through their operation that has impacts from an upstream mine.

"They will no longer be notified of the application for a mining lease and they will have no right to object to that mining lease application under this bill," she said.

"The claims made by this government that it is inequitable for mining companies to have to publicly notify an application for a mining lease when this isn't' required for residential or retail development is complete and utter nonsense.

"An open-cut mine with a 30-year life is not a comparable development with a new Woolies store down the corner. This argument is verging on the satirical and stupid.

"In essence, this bill seeks to pervert land use management arrangements in our state by stacking the process in favour of big miners and the resources industry at the expense of landholders, rural communities and all Queenslanders."

Mr Cripps told parliament the majority of mining leases issued in Queensland carried low environmental risk.

He said small mines must also cause less than 10ha of significant disturbance at a time, have no more than 20 employees and be removed from environmentally sensitive areas.

"Not one community or green group made an objection to these small mines," he said. - APN Newsdesk