The leading opponent of Queensland’s wild rivers laws, Noel Pearson, has accused the state government of “pedalling (sic) misinformation” about potential developments near the rivers.
Mr Pearson said few of the 100 development applications approved by the state government actually involved developments.
“They were merely applications for such things as exploration permits which did not result in any development,” Mr Pearson said.
He said an analysis of the applications by Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation had shown that of the 113 alleged development applications approved, 79 were for exploration permits, 17 were awarded to Queensland government agencies for gravel extraction and fencing, and eight related to a mining project that existed before the wild rivers legislation.
“I call on the premier and her minister to explain these misrepresentations, and prove that they have not deliberately and mischievously hoodwinked the Australian public and provided misinformation to federal parliament,” Mr Pearson said.
Other indigenous leaders in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York regions support the state government’s initiative in limiting development along 10 rivers in Queensland.
This week the state government introduced a bill to extend its controversial wild rivers legislation to restrict development near three major Lake Eyre Basin rivers, Cooper Creek and the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.
Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said the bill would pave the way for the rivers to be nominated for wild river declarations.