Group calls for action against mining

COMMUNITIES from across the Wide Bay Burnett are calling on Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and state ministers to give them the right to say 'no' to mining at the next meeting of the COAG Energy Council on Friday, December 4.

Minister Frydenberg said he'd put mining and land access on the agenda at the meeting.

Spokesperson for the Wide Bay Burnett Protection Alliance, Vicki Perrin, said it was vital this meeting delivers tangible action and gives farmers, landholders and traditional owners the power to refuse mining companies access.

"The negotiation process is not working; it is hardly negotiating when your only option is to say yes. We are very concerned about the 3000 sq kms of shale gasfields proposed for this region and want the right to say no to this unsafe industry We don't want make good, it's too late once your water is gone or contaminated. We demand the legal right to say no to coal and gas mining," Vicki said.

"It is time for the buck-passing and bullying to end, and for our governments to legislate to give all landholders and communities a veto over mining that threatens our land, our water and way of life.

"Individuals and communities across Australia have experienced severe distress due to the laws being weighted so heavily in favor of multi-national mining corporations that they can legally force access to land without consent.

"All governments across Australia need to act now to end this special treatment for mining giants and to give us the basic right to a fair go and a real say over whether miners are allowed access.

"The bullying and harassment of landholders and traditional owners by mining corporations needs to end now.  Governments need to prevent any further harm to rural and regional families."

The group is asking that all governments:

  • Reach an agreement at COAG to legislate the legal right for landholders and traditional owners to say 'no' to access by coal and unconventional gas mining companies.
  • Provide state and territory governments six months to deliver legislative changes to that effect, and if they are not forthcoming, create national legislation using relevant powers.
  • Immediately commission an inquiry by the ACCC, using powers it already has, to investigate whether the unconventional gas industry have engaged in unconscionable conduct in their dealings with landholders.

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