Kingaroy police have been consulted about an incident that occurred outside the boundary of a Moreton Resources’ Kingaroy Coal Project site last week.
Local resident John Dalton was taking a photograph of the drilling operation from a nearby road when approached by a contractor who told him several times that his camera would be taken and smashed.
“It was a very tense and unexpected 20 minute standoff which only ended when the contractor demanded that I leave the public road area immediately or face further consequences” Mr Dalton said.
The aggressive response by the contractor resulted in a phone call to Kingaroy police to confirm a community member’s rights to take photos from a public road and to also report concerns about the public safety risk the contractor could pose to others.
Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) Vice President Damien O’Sullivan said that the actions of the contractor at the Kingaroy coal project site are incompatible with the stated commitment of the project proponent, Moreton Resources, to engage respectfully with the communities living near their projects.
“It was almost as if Moreton Resources hadn’t made the contractor aware of the community interest in this project or explained their community engagement principles to them. I am still struggling to understand how the company's well publicised aspirations to gain a social licence for this project was being advanced today.” he said.
Mr O’Sullivan said that Moreton Resources is not renowned for effectively engaging with or managing the concerns of all local landholders.
KCCG intends to continue to lawfully take photos and document the coal exploration activities, but have recommended to members that they always do so with a second member present in the event of further intimidation.