House Standing Committee on Economics
Inquiry into Indigenous economic development in Queensland and review of the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2010
Terms of Reference
On 17 November 2010 the House of Representatives referred the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill to the Committee for Inquiry and Report by the end of the autumn period of sittings in 2011.
Submissions addressing this Bill will be received as part of the committee’s broader inquiry into indigenous economic development.
On the 3 November 2010 the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP referred the following reference to the Committee.
The Committee should examine the scope for increasing sustainable Indigenous economic development in Queensland and including in the Cape York region having regard to the aspirations of Indigenous people and the social and cultural context surrounding their participation in the economy.
The Committee should consider:
- existing environmental regulation, legislation in relation to mining and other relevant legislation including the Wild Rivers Act (Qld) 2005 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;
- the impact which legislation in the form of the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2010 would have, if passed; and
- options for facilitating economic development for the benefit of Indigenous people and the protection of the environmental values of undisturbed river systems.
The inquiry should pay particular attention to the following:
- The nature and extent of current barriers to economic development and land use by people, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous, including those involved in the mining, pastoral, tourism, cultural heritage and environmental management;
- Options for overcoming or reducing those barriers and better facilitating sustainable economic development, especially where that development involves Indigenous people;
- The potential for industries which promote preservation of the environment to provide economic development and employment for Indigenous people;
- The effectiveness of current State and Commonwealth mechanisms for appropriate preservation of free-flowing river systems which have much of their natural values intact, including the preserving of biodiversity;
- Options for improving environmental regulation for such systems;
- The impact of existing environmental regulation, legislation in relation to mining and other relevant legislation on the exercise of native title rights and on the national operation of the native title regime and the impact which legislation in the form of the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2010 would have on these matters.
The Committee should also make recommendations as to what initiatives might be pursued in order to promote economic development while preserving environmental and cultural values.
The Minister has proposed that the Committee report by no later than March 2011.
NOTE: The Bill was introduced by the Leader of the Opposition Mr Tony Abbott MP on Monday 15th November 2010. A copy of the bill is available through this link.
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