The following is a submission I made regarding the further expansion of the State Development Area in Gladstone in 2014.
You may feel that since not many people turned up to the information sessions about the State Development Area changes, that no-one cares what you do.
This is not true. Many people have objected strenuously to this process over the years, and it has done them not one bit of good. Is it any wonder that most people have simply opted out of the process?
I am one of them, but I’ve decided to voice my thoughts on the whole process in a way which I hope you can understand. I’m going to put it very plainly. And when I say ‘You’ I am conflating government and fossil fuel corporations because I believe they are so intertwined that they cannot be separated.
You are lying, thieving bastards. You are greedy. You think that you can simply excise part of Australia and exempt it from due process, which is exactly what a State Development Area is. You think you can ride roughshod over a community, ruin an environment with impunity and take the money and run.
I am here to tell you that while the people of Central Queensland are slow to anger, when they are roused, they are a force to be reckoned with. Oh, we won’t be marching in the streets, have no fear of that, but you will find that your social licence has expired.
People, good people, have been leaving the area in droves. You will struggle to find the people you need, you will have to pay them double to stay there, and those people who will go anywhere for money are exactly the people who will leave at the drop of a hat.
And the good people who have left, who were forced to leave, are quietly agitating behind the scenes. You will find your finance is harder to get, your approvals much, much slower, and every act of environmental vandalism will be photographed and flashed around the world.
So go ahead, draw more lines on a map. Give with one hand as you take away with the other.
You will find that it will and has already backfired on you.