John Dory, from Moreton Island, writes:

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie’s horror start to 2005 is getting worse, with Brisbane’s lazy, hand-fed media finally reporting today on a costly and confidential compensation payout to the proponents of the aborted Moreton Bay fish farm.

The Sun Aqua project was summarily scuttled last year by Premier Beattie, who – panicked by a noisy green rabble led by the shrill former Lord Mayor Jim Soorley – ignored an EIS which supported the project and dived lustfully into bed in an ugly ménage a trois with Green preferences and marginal seats.

With the Environment Impact Statement, extensive scientific research and huge R&D costs estimated anywhere north of $1 million, it was a debacle for Queensland’s still-born finfish aquaculture industry.

But with this latest news, several questions arise: How did it all go so horribly wrong for the Government boffins who invited the proponents up from their successful Tasmanian salmon industry to develop a Moreton Bay proposal? What did the Crown Solicitor legal advice tell the government about malfeasance and misrepresentation? And whose name is on the taxpayer cheque?

With the Premier’s recent “package” of inducements to win the support of Palm Island’s restive locals, it seems the Queensland Government is taking the chequebook approach to public affairs management.

CRIKEY: Read Crikey’s previous coverage of the Moreton Bay fish farming furore on the site here:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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