QCC to act as enviro-cop with new prosecution body
The Queensland Conservation Council has established a separate entity it claims would act as a new cop on the beat by initiating civil and criminal actions against polluters.
Two children join the march with one holding a placard reading "There is no planet B" during a rally outside the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. (Photo by Iain McGuinness / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
It follows more than a decade of what business groups defined as “lawfare” in which environmental groups took separate actions against mostly coal and gas companies.
The entity, Queensland Conservation Council Ltd, would operate independently of the association it shares its name with. It would campaign and co-ordinate with other conservation groups.
“Its primary mission being to undertake proactive actions aimed at enforcing Queensland laws,” QCC said.
It already has an action in mind which would be revealed in coming months.
The new entity aims to fit into a gap where a environmental protection agency operates in other states. It said there were legal provisions allowing it to initiate criminal action against companies as well as civil.
QCC chair Emily Kain said there was an ongoing failure of the state’s environmental laws.
“We are deeply concerned about the rampant disregard for regulations that are meant to safeguard our environment,” she said.
However, the QCC did not provide examples of where these failures were occurring.
“Together with our devoted allies and environmental champions, we’ve been at the forefront of the conservation movement since 1969. Now, with the creation of QCC Ltd, we’re fortifying our
legacy by holding accountable those who violate environmental laws,” Kain said.
“The birth of QCC Ltd signifies a new era of uncompromising commitment to preserving Queensland’s pristine natural wonders and the continuation of Queensland Conservation Council’s time-honored tradition of safeguarding our environment.”