NOT HAPPY: Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton has questioned the government's decision to renew the licence.
NOT HAPPY: Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton has questioned the government's decision to renew the licence. Contributed

Landholders question mining licence renewal

KINGAROY landholders have questioned the recent re-approval of a mining development lease for the controversial Kingaroy coal mine.

The group was recently informed of the Queensland Government's three-year approval for MDL 385 near Kingaroy.

This approval will give mining company Moreton Resources another three years to lodge an Environmental Impact Statement with the State Government.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group had asked natural resources, mines and energy minister Anthony Lynham to invoke the public interest provisions of the Mineral Resources Act to refuse the application, before it was approved.

They raised concerns about the mine's proximity to the town area, since the proposed site was on excellent farmland and also in the town water catchment area.

KCCG spokesperson John Dalton said they had been trying to arrange a meeting with the minister on the mine site since September 2018, so he can understand why the mine proposal was not welcomed by most landholders.

"We have no idea why this MDL was given another three-year approval," he said.

During the first five-year period of the lease, the company had an unsuccessful Cougar Energy, now known as Moreton Resources, UCG trial.

Moreton Resources failed to submit an EIS to the government during the required time period in the following five years.

"This MDL has produced 10 years of heartache and uncertainty, and now the government thinks we should endure another three years," Mr Dalton said.

"We don't know how criteria such as technical capability and financial capability was applied to this application and its approval."

The group has written to the minister to seek a full justification of the renewal.

"We are disappointed that we could not express our views to the minister about this recalcitrant proposal in our district," Mr Dalton said.