Landholders, the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group, and Lock the Gate Alliance members are celebrating this morning after it was revealed troubled company Moreton Resources had withdrawn its mining lease application for an open cut coal mine on prime farmland near Kingaroy.
“This is an incredibly important day for our local community who have been ever-vigilant and courageous in standing up to protect this priceless agricultural area from mining,” said local landholder John Bjelke-Petersen.
“The Kingaroy area contains some of the best farmland in Queensland and a mine here would have destroyed agricultural businesses, damaged water resources and put the health of the local community at risk.”
Although the withdrawal of the mining application is a very positive outcome for the region, Moreton still appears to hold the Mineral Development Licence (MDL 385) over the area.
The most recent Moreton statement to the ASX relating to their poor cash flow position states that they are ‘exploring divestment opportunities’ - which suggests that they may well be looking to pass the MDL on to another company.
“The Kingaroy community should not have to face any more uncertainty and it’s time the Palaszczuk Government stepped up and permanently protected the prime farming and cropping areas,” said Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Vicki Perrin.
“The community has so far had to fight off underground coal gasification, bauxite and now coal.
“We’re calling on the Queensland Government to extinguish the remaining MDL and urgently amend regional planning laws so that mining operations are prohibited on prime farming and cropping areas.”