A scuba diver explores the coral reef.
A scuba diver explores the coral reef. richcarey

Govt cops criticism for delays on debating new reef laws

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett has blamed the Palaszczuk government for delays in the debate surrounding the Environmental Reef Protection Bill.

Mr Bennett said the Bill was scheduled for debate yesterday but the government pushed it back.

"The committee report was handed down in February, it's been six months of angst and concern for our growers thanks to these unfair reef laws," Mr Bennett said.

"Farmers have been blindsided by these regulations and deserve to be listened to.

"So why aren't we debating these laws today?

"What is the Labor government doing now?

"It can only be that the legislation is so bad and in need of so many changes that delay after delay continues.

"Labor can't even bring the Bill before parliament; how are we supposed to have faith in this legislation with zero transparency?"

Mr Bennett said regional Queenslanders were being treated like second-class citizens.

"All we want is a fair go and for the government to consider the impact these anti-region laws will have on farmers and their communities," Mr Bennett said.

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Great Barrier Reef, a provider of 60,000 jobs, was facing two major threats: climate change and water quality.

"For someone who has been trying to prevent these regulations from coming into effect for so long, the Member for Burnett now seems very keen for them to be passed into law," Ms Enoch said.

Ms Enoch said people needed to act now if the Reef was to be protected.

"Bundaberg is on the doorstep to the Southern Great Barrier Reef that this Bill seeks to protect," Ms Enoch said.

"Opposing protecting the Reef means opposing jobs for Bundaberg."



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