The fight to stop fracking in the Wide Bay Burnett is ramping up with an ad campaign featuring local growers underway, and a beach rally planned for the weekend.
Blue Energy holds petroleum licences across more than 40,000 hectares in the Wide Bay, covering some of the most productive agricultural land in the country and adjacent to World Heritage listed Fraser Island.
Two of the company’s exploration licences are due to expire on the 31st of this month, while the third and final is due to expire in March next year.
Lock the Gate Wide Bay Burnett spokesperson Vicki Perrin called on Blue Energy to abandon the leases once they expired, and for Mines Minister Anthony Lynham to then cancel the leases permanently.
“The Wide Bay Burnett is a nationally significant foodbowl and a gateway for thousands of tourists each year travelling to Fraser Island and the Southern Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
“Fracking companies have no social licence to operate in this region - 20 local communities have declared themselves gasfield free.”
The ad campaign comes after more than 500 letters from Traditional Owners, farmers, tourism operators, and business owners in the Wide Bay Burnett opposing fracking were sent to Blue Energy executives and Mr Lynham last month.
“We will not sit idly by and watch our beautiful region be transformed into a dust bowl just so a fly by night industry can make a quick buck,” Ms Perrin said.
“Agriculture and tourism are industries that are sustainable but they cannot coexist with the fracking industry.
“We want to make sure farmers and tourism operators can continue to operate in this region for generations to come.”
“On Sunday the 16th of this month there will be a big gathering at 8:30 AM at Brennan Park, Sawmill Rd, Dundowran, to call on the Palaszczuk Government to cancel these unwanted fracking licences, and designate this region as a fracking no-go zone in perpetuity.”
The ad campaign, through newspapers and local television channels, will run until December 21.