Kingaroy locals are relieved after a company that threatened to mine some of the best agricultural land in the state entered voluntary administration yesterday.
Moreton Resources, which quietly withdrew its application for the large thermal coal mine near Kingaroy in February this year, was formerly known as Cougar Energy and was responsible for a failed underground coal gasification project which released cancer-causing chemicals into groundwater in the same area prior to changing its name.
Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesperson John Dalton said while he was happy the immediate threat was gone, he was concerned because there was nothing stopping another company taking up the Mineral Development License that still looms over the land.
“This company at least won’t be one that will ever mine here, but we’re also mindful the tenement can be acquired by other companies, and that’s why we need strengthened state planning laws,” he said.
“Something needs to be done to prevent other companies doing to us what Moreton has done.
“The sheer volume of public opposition to this mine shows the public expects laws that enshrine common sense in the thoughtful use of our public and natural resources, which in this case is our farmland.”
Lock the Gate Queensland spokesperson Vicki Perrin called on the Palaszczuk Government to urgently make changes to the Regional Planning Interest Act so coal and gas projects could no longer be proposed for prime agricultural land and environmentally significant areas.
“The Kingaroy community should not have to face any more uncertainty and it’s time the Palaszczuk Government stepped up and permanently protected our prime farming and cropping areas,” she said.
“This community, and many others like it, are tired of fighting these inappropriate developments.
“We call on Mines Minister Anthony Lynham to extinguish the remaining MDL and urgently amend regional planning laws so that mining operations are prohibited on prime farming and cropping areas.”