Wild Rivers legislation tainted by lobbyists: Pearson

The director of the Cape York Institute says paid lobbyists have influenced the Queensland Government’s Wild Rivers legislation in the state’s far north.

The claim comes as a poll shows most voters believe cronyism is widespread in Queensland.

Noel Pearson says the environmental legislation favours mining companies and prevents Indigenous communities from developing their land.

Mr Pearson’s told the ABC’s Insiders program he thinks lobbyists have too much power.

“No matter how many submissions we make through the democratic process our submissions are not listened to,” he said.

“So our problem with Wild Rivers is just a symptom of the power of lobby groups in Brisbane.

“The key issue here is whether paid lobbyists ought to be slinking around corridors, opening doors like pimps at a Fortitude Valley brothel.”

Meanwhile, Premier Anna Bligh says she is taking action to respond to voter anger about links between politics and business.

After a week of controversy about lobbyists and business dealings, a Galaxy poll in the Sunday Mail shows 65 per cent of voters believe cronyism is widespread.

The Premier’s approval rating has fallen to 33 per cent.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek says he is also encouraged that the LNP has widened its lead from the last poll.

“It shows that Premier Bligh is out of touch with what the community wants and expects,” he said.

Ms Bligh has now told her ministers and MPs not to attend fundraising functions with business people.

“What this poll tells me is that Queenslanders don’t like this stuff. What they want is for me to clean it up,” she said.

She has challenged Mr Langbroek to impose the same ban on his MPs.



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