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Newman urges miners to lobby fed govt over green tape
08/06/2012 - Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has made a call to arms, urging miners and developers to lobby the federal government over green tape holding up the state's economy.
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The state and federal governments have been warring over the approval process for the $6.4 billion Alpha coal mine in central Queensland.
The federal government this week halted the approval process, saying Queensland had failed to properly assess the environmental risks.
Ministers from both sides met in Sydney on Thursday but failed to achieve a breakthrough.
The commonwealth will continue to deal with what it says are outstanding environmental issues.
And the Queensland government will still have to respond by next week and show cause why it should not be suspended from a bilateral agreement aimed at streamlining major environmental approvals.
Newman invited more than 100 miners, developers, builders and environmentalists to parliament on Thursday asking them to side with him.
He warned the delay on approving the mine was a political game that would "only get worse".
Newman said "some people" might speculate the political situation in Canberra had the government under pressure from the Greens and green groups not to allow the delegation of environmental assessments to the state authorities.
For example, the federal government's declaration of koalas as vulnerable last month meant housing developers would have to get federal government approvals.
"We have a (state) government that wants to get rid of green tape, but then this is the reality of the situation," he said.
The premier asked his guests for their support.
"We would particularly appreciate you helping us by putting your shoulder to the wheel and sending the message that Queensland needs to take the economy forward," he said.
Housing Industry Association executive director Warwick Temby was concerned about what could happen to residential approvals.
"Having more overlays from the federal level as well would just be a disaster," he told reporters.
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