Politicians join community in fight against coal mining
A MAJOR political party is the latest to come out in opposition to the proposed Kingaroy coal mine, supporting a South Burnett advocacy group's call on the State Government to take more action.
The Kingaroy Concerned Citizen's Group has demanded the Queensland Government buy back an exploration permit from Moreton Resources, the company behind the proposal to develop an open cut coal mine 5km south of Kingaroy.
The project has received significant backlash from the community, with many concerned with the impact it could have on prime agricultural land, as well as the environment and health of the nearby community.
The request to buy back the permit was a direct result of an independent study conducted by former CSIRO scientist Dr Rock Boothroyd, who has conducted studies into the long term health risks associated with coal mine dust.
KCCG spokesperson John Dalton said Dr Boothroyd's study, commissioned by the group, detailed the extreme public health threat of destabilised arsenic which could potentially leech from the mine site and into the town's water supply.
He said the Queensland Government and the South Burnett Regional Council did not have sufficient technical capacity to manage or rehabilitate the town's water supply if an incident was to occur.
"With these factors in mind, KCCG is confident that it's objection to the mine is both justified and likely to be sustained," Mr Dalton said.
"We anticipate that processing this mining application will be characterised by a litany of conflict and protest."
The Australian Greens has come out in support of KCCG and deputy leader and senator for Queensland Larissa Waters commended the action the group had taken.
"We must not sacrifice our farmland, groundwater or the health of our rural communities for short-sighted, economically risky and environmentally destructive coal mining," Ms Waters said.
"Having a dirty great coal mine so close to residential area would mean that the local community could suffer serious health impacts from pollution and coal dust.
"The Queensland Government must heed the call from the residents of Kingaroy and do what is necessary to protect the local community, farmland and environment from this development.
Moreton Resources hopes to have an approved lease for the mine in less than two years, with the project requiring assessment and approval.
South Burnett mayor Keith Campbell, Nanango MP Deb Frecklington and Maranoa MP David Littleproud have all publicly opposed the development.