PLANNING: Representatives from across regional Queensland have met at the Bunya Mountains for a weekend of strategy and planning to protect farmland and communities from coal and gas mining.
PLANNING: Representatives from across regional Queensland have met at the Bunya Mountains for a weekend of strategy and planning to protect farmland and communities from coal and gas mining. Contributed

Community leaders rally to protect farms from mining

REGIONAL planning laws have failed to protect Queensland's best farmland and community living areas from mining and gas.

That's according to regional Queensland community representatives who met at the Bunya Mountains on the weekend to talk about strategy and planning to protect farmland and communities.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group president John Dalton was among the community leaders who took part in workshops covering issues such as water testing, groundwater protection, and economic analysis.

"This weekend has confirmed Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group view that we need a stronger regional planning act to weed out resource proposals that are clearly not in the community's best interests,” he said.

Gemma Cronin, a Butchulla custodian from the Wide Bay Burnett, said educating and empowering communities about their right to free and informed decision making was key in achieving the group's goal.

"Our recent success in driving gas company Blue Energy out of the Wide Bay Burnett region is a perfect example of how Aboriginal custodians working together with farmers and business people can protect country,” she said.

Ellie Smith, from Lock the Gate Alliance, was pleased to see empowered residents determined to achieve stronger regional planning laws to protect food-producing lands and key residential areas take part in the weekend's workshops.

"Mining and gas is harming the life systems that Queenslanders depend on, and communities this weekend made it clear they will not rest until our politicians listen to regional people,” she said.