Kelly Butterworth

Verbal war on green groups at Major Projects Conference

A TOP Queensland Government bureaucrat kick-started a verbal war on green groups which continued throughout a high-profile government-organised conference.

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning department director-general David Edwards was the first to attack "extreme" environmental groups at the Major Project Conference in Brisbane on Thursday.

Mr Edwards said the services royalties from the resources sector provided were often overlooked, such as improved infrastructure, schools, hospitals and roads.

"Take coal out of the financial equation and we would have a lower standard of living," he said.

Mr Edwards said those with "anti-development interests" relied on "emotional rhetoric and inaccurate Facebook postings".

"The cold hard facts from the Australian Institute of Marine Science(correct)… show the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is due to storm damage, 48%, crown-of-thorns starfish, 42%, and coral bleaching, 10%," he said.

In 2011-12, at the height of the mining boom, Mr Edwards said Queensland's $37.9 billion resources industry contributed to $1 in every $4 to the state's economic activity and supported one in every five jobs.

GasFields Commission chair John Cotter(correct) said a high number of community members needed to know what impact resources' projects would have on the community.

But there was also the "un-needed noisy minority", he said.

"CSG has put us on the world stage for all the wrong reasons," Mr Cotter said, referring to opposition from green groups.

Mr Cotter urged resources companies to get amongst the community and ensure people understood the benefits projects would bring.

"I hope as you leave here today as proponents you think about community relations the way you think about workplace health and safety," he said. 

DIGGING DEEP

In 2011-12 state-wide:

- $2.4 billion or 86% of the royalties to the state could be contributed to coal

- Central Queensland: 9000 full-time people employed

- APN NEWSDESK



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