Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk announces former MP Kerry Shine will stand as the Australian Labor Party's candidate for Toowoomba North at the next state election, Monday, November 04, 2013. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk announces former MP Kerry Shine will stand as the Australian Labor Party's candidate for Toowoomba North at the next state election, Monday, November 04, 2013. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle Kevin Farmer

Palaszczuk warned not to include former minister in Cabinet

LABOR leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has been warned by Coast community groups not to include a former Bligh Government minister in any Cabinet she is able to form.

The Sunshine Coast Environment Council and the Coolum-based Development Watch have written separately to Ms Palaszczuk with the same request and warning.

Neither wants former Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe anywhere near portfolios that have anything to do with the environment, planning, local government and development.

"A government that is not arrogant, listens to the community, protects the environment and that does not favour developers or big business interests ahead of community interests is what the community expects," Development Watch president Marian Kroon wrote.

"To that end we ask you to exclude Mr Stirling Hinchliffe from consideration for any positions where he could influence planning and development, local government or the environment.

"Mr Hinchliffe's ... legacy on the Sunshine Coast includes the use of his ministerial powers to remove the development approval of Stockland's Caloundra South proposal from the Sunshine Coast Council, resulting in overdevelopment, environmental concerns and a likely significant burden to local ratepayers."

Mr Hinchliffe did not respond to emails from the Daily. The Sunshine Coast Environment Council was equally scathing. It also pointed out the flaws of the previous Bligh Government and warned Ms Palaszczuk against any further betrayals of trust on the Coast.

SCEC president Keryn Jones said these had included the Traveston Dam, a desalination plant proposal for Marcoola, the takeover of the approval process for Caloundra South and inclusion of Halls Creek for future urban development in the SEQ Plan.

"The Planning Minister at the time, Mr Stirling Hinchliffe, was responsible for these issues,'' Ms Jones said.

"He failed to respect the overwhelming desire of Sunshine Coasters to develop in a truly sustainable manner and placed the interests of developers above those of the community.

"If the momentum of this win is to be carried through to even greater electoral success next term and a grassroots revolt is to be avoided, representatives who were part of the problem in the Bligh administration, in particular Stirling Hinchliffe, should not be given significant positions that have any influence over planning, environmental matters or local government."



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