QUEENSLAND Environment Minister Andrew Powell has laughed off allegations from the Opposition that a secret deal had been brokered so mine companies could dump untreated mine water in exchange for extra royalties.
Mr Powell faced the query after Opposition spokesperson for mines Jo-Ann Miller used an estimates hearing on Friday to quiz his colleague and Minister for Mines and Natural Resources Andrew Cripps about the same issue.
She asked Mr Cripps to "outline the secret deal that was done by your LNP government for mining companies with regard to pumping untreated mine water into water basins and river systems in a trade off for royalty requests".
Mr Cripps dismissed the question saying any water discharge from a mine fell under the portfolio of environment, adding it was a question best suited for Mr Powell's department.
Ms Miller was not convinced and neither was Opposition Environment spokesperson Jackie Trad who then posed re-phrased questions to natural resources acting director-general Dan Hunt.
She asked if Mr Hunt had received any information from the Department of Environment about such a deal.
He said he had not.
When the question was posted to Mr Powell during a separate press conference on koala rescue and rehabilitation funding, the Environment Minister laughed and said, "There is no secret deal".