State needs upper house

QUEENSLAND'S lack of an upper house meant it could not be trusted to make its own decisions on environmental approvals for major projects, Nicklin MP Peter Wellington told Parliament this week.

Queensland is the only Australian state not to have an upper house of review, a kind of state senate.

Commenting on Queensland moves to have federal environmental powers handed back to the states, Mr Wellington said the Traveston Crossing dam issue proved that Queensland needed the check provided by federal environmental scrutiny, regardless of the political colour of the regime in Canberra.

The dam proposal was rejected by then federal environment minister Peter Garrett under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

"The reality is that if we did not have the Federal Government's involvement in the former Traveston Crossing dam, it would be under construction now.

"The reality is that we need that check," he said. "We do not have an upper house".