Eleven communities near Gympie will declare themselves coal mine and gasfield free on Sunday (September 14) at a public celebration at Goomboorian Hall, Goomboorian.
They all voted overwhelmingly – 90 percent and above - to stop the scourge of coal and gas mining through their areas.
The communities are: Wilsons Pocket, Kia Ora, Neerdie, Wolvi, Downsfield, Anderleigh, Coondoo, Neusavale, Beenham Valley, Canina and Goomboorian.
Local resident Bronwyn Marsh said: “This has been a wonderful uniting of communities. Through extensive community consultation we found that more than 90 per cent of the people in communities that participated in the survey want their roads and land coal mine and gasfield free.”
The 11 new localities east of Gympie, join Avondale and Winfield near Bundaberg who declared themselves mining free in January this year. They also join more than 200 communities across Australia that have done the same.
Local resident Andrew Ganter said he was shocked to hear of the exploration in the Wide Bay Burnett region. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the maps. We are part of the World Heritage- listed Great Sandy Biosphere and we are Australia’s fresh food producers in this region. It makes no sense at all to let these invasive extractive industries into our area,” he said.
Coal Free Wide Bay Burnett spokesperson, Vicki Perrin congratulated the communities on their outstanding efforts and welcomed them to the fastest growing Australian social movement, the Lock the Gate Alliance.