Resources company reveals plan for coal mine in Bundaberg
MEMBERS of the Bundaberg community are encouraged to attend a meeting this weekend to voice their concerns over an application that proposes an exploration that could lead to the introduction of a coal mine in the Bundaberg region.
Western Australian organisation Fox Resources applied for a mineral development licence (MDL3040) and proposed the mine be situated in Avondale and Winfield.
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers managing director Bree Grima said she was concerned with how a coal mine would impact the agriculture sector of the region.
"The Wide Bay Region is the food bowl of Australia," Ms Grima said.
"To think this could be jeopardised by a mining company in unconscionable and producers in the region won't give up without a fight."
Lock the Gate spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said the implications of a coal mine would lead to huge environmental impacts, including the Kolan River and Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Concerns have also been raised over the amount of water supply required to operate a coal mine, a topic of content over the recent controversy concerning Paradise Dam and water restrictions stipulated to the farming community.
"This mine would threaten our way of life, our water, and the environment that so many hold dear," Ms Perrin said.
"The Mineral Development Licence area covers valuable cane and macadamia growing country, and is on the Kolan River - a vital marine breeding ground for the Southern Great Barrier Reef."
Ms Perrin said the permit covers from SSS Strawberries on Gin Gin Rd all the way through and past Avondale.
The spokeswoman said it was crucial that the community had their say and sought to reform regional planning laws.
It comes after 100% of the mining and coal projects were approved in Queensland, since the State Government introduced a new planning legislation five years ago.
"We have an active community ready to defend our land and water from a destructive industry like coal mining in what is an absolutely inappropriate area," Ms Perrin said.
"This is why initiatives like Plan to Grow are so important - we need the Queensland Government to set firm, defined boundaries where mining and gas development simply cannot occur."
Fox Resources CFO Bruce Garlick said there is no immediate plans for a mine as numerous studies were required before a mining lease could even be considered.
"The Mineral Development Licence Application is an Exploration permit that is issued in order to evaluate the development potential of the resource (and) the term applied for is five years," Mr Garlick said.
"If the MDl is granted, the work program allows for geophysics in the first year, seismic surveys and drilling in year two to five.
"The Mineral Development Licence can be renewed for a further five-year term after the initial granted term of five years.
"An MDL is a type of exploration permit and not a mining lease (and) allows us to conduct geoscientific programs."
Mr Garlick said the study may include drilling, seismic surveys, mining feasibility studies, metallurgical testing, marketing, environmental, engineering and design studies.
If a mining lease was considered in the future, Mr Garlick said all relevant stakeholders would be consulted and negotiated with and the community would be consulted.
Mr Garlick said if a mining lease application was submitted, Fox Resources would employ local workers and contractors to ensure the community benefited.
A community meeting will be held on Saturday, November 23, from 3pm to find out more information about the application and voice their concerns.
The community are encouraged to attend the meeting at Tegege Hall, at 17 Bushs Rd, Avondale.
Mines Minister Doctor Anthony Lynham said The Palaszczuk Labor Government restored rights stripped away by the LNP for the community to object to mining projects.
"Fox Resources' application is for a mineral development licence, which, if granted, authorises exploration drilling and surveys, not mining activities," Dr Lynham said.
"If Fox seeks a mining lease, the community will have a right to object, potentially before Land Court, and Queensland's strict assessment process will require any project to meet strict environmental, public interest, appropriate land use, compensation, native title and technical requirements."