A statement by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham completely misses the point of community concerns over a proposed coal mine in Bundaberg, and is an insult to farmers whose livelihoods are at risk, should the project be approved in the future.
“Coal mining companies should not be allowed to apply for coal mining licences over such fertile agricultural land,” said Lock the Gate Alliance Wide Bay spokesperson Vicki Perrin.
“That is why groups like Lock the Gate Alliance are desperately calling on the Palaszczuk Government to reform the Regional Planning Interests Act.
“Our best farmland should be clearly off limits to mining from the outset - it shouldn’t be up to communities to have to stop projects in a completely inappropriate location like this.
“It should be the Minister’s job to ensure that mining isn’t disrupting communities and damaging farm businesses.
“We’ve seen too many cases of mining riding roughshod over all other interests to think that this proposal will simply peter out at some stage.
“In Queensland, we’ve already lost too much valuable agricultural land to coal and gas mining, that’s why the people of Bundaberg are not standing by, but are determined to stop this coal mine application at the earliest possible stage.
“Minister Lynham’s comments miss the point - he seems to imply the Bundaberg community should just sit by and watch and let the mining project run its course.
“But the message which the Bundaberg community has sent is that they do not want a mine or a mining licence here, and they’re asking him to act now to reject the application, or better yet, amend the regional planning act to prohibit mining on prime farmland like this.
“This is a nationally significant food bowl and it’s the very last place that the Qld Government should be green-lighting a mineral development licence.”