Lock the Gate Alliance welcomes the Queensland Government’s decision to put the final nail in the coffin of Fox Resource’s ill-conceived Bundaberg coal mine plan.
But the Alliance says the drawn-out saga is evidence that Queensland needs stricter laws to protect communities, prime agricultural land, and other priority areas from mining.
Bundaberg cane farmer Judy Plath said, “This is a great example of a minister listening to a regional community, who were saying very clearly that they did not support a coal mine in a coastal farming region that relies on tourism.”
“But it is time for a serious rethink of how we zone for mining at a time when the world is facing food shortages. It’s never been more important to protect prime agricultural land and our precious water supplies.”
Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said, “This victory is testament to the never give up attitude of Bundaberg locals, and we warmly congratulate the Resources Minister on listening to their views.
“But this is a battle the community should never have had to fight. There are some places that are too precious to mine - Fox Resources should never have been allowed to apply to mine in our food bowl just near the Great Barrier Reef.
“The coal mine threatened not just food production but would also have impacted on the world renowned turtle nesting grounds at Mon Repos.
“Queensland desperately needs to strengthen regional planning laws to prohibit mining in prime farming land and areas of environmental and cultural significance.
“The Queensland Government could act right now to make these areas off limits by minor legal amendments - it’s time to stop leaving it to communities to protect Queensland’s best assets.
“There’s also mounting evidence that it’s long past time to act - with the International Panel on Climate Change issuing another warning today about the terrible impacts on people and the environment of extreme weather events if we don’t start moving away from fossil fuels now.”