Three Southern Downs’ communities - Goomburra, Allora and Berat - on the weekend overwhelmingly declared themselves coal mine and gasfield free at celebration at the historic Goomburra Hall.
Comprehensive grassroots door-to-door surveys resulted in an average of 92 per cent of landholders agreeing that they wanted to live in coal mine and gasfield free communities.
Representatives from the communities handed their declarations to Southern Downs Regional Councillor, Jamie Mackenzie who will table them at the next council meeting. On presenting the Declaration for Allora, David Ffinch told the meeting: "This is our way to be heard.”
Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus, keynote speaker at the gathering said our water supplies must be protected. “It is water that sustains and gives life to this planet, our farms and food production. We cannot survive without it," he said.
The areas covered by a coal mining lease include high production farming land that would be in trashed.
Sarah Moles from the Southern Downs Protection Group has been involved with water conservation and allocations for the past 20 years. Ms Moles said: "Nothing is more important than the sustainability of our water supplies. Without water there is no agriculture and no water for town water supplies."
Julie Devine, Lock The Gate’s South-East Queensland Coordinator said people wanted to exercise their democratic right to make determinations about developments and high impact projects in the places where they lived and worked.
“Clearly, the Southern Downs’ huge contribution to Queensland agriculture, local economies and long- term sustainable food production is highly valued," she said.