Conservation Council's funding cut

May 13, 1998

Conservation Council's funding cut

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Queensland Conservation Council chairperson Carol Booth has accused the Coalition state government of campaigning against outspoken conservationists, following natural resources minister Lawrence Springborg's pledge on May 7 to withdraw funding from the QCC.

Springborg said he would withhold $40,000 from the QCC unless coordinator Imogen Zethoven withdrew comments about the minister's decision not to proceed with controversial plans to dam the Comet River in central Queensland. Zethoven had said the government dropped the project because it was not economically viable, rather than for the environmental reasons stated by the minister.

Booth said Springborg's attack was part of a pattern of intimidation. This included his predecessor Howard Hobbs' sacking of Zethoven from an advisory committee because he disagreed with her.

Wilderness Society spokesperson Lyndon Schneider said Springborg's threats were a warning that if people disagreed with the government, they would be silenced. Queensland Greens spokesperson Drew Hutton said Springborg's bullying had ensured a united conservation front in the upcoming state election.

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