Anti-mining group takes action

THE next phase in the fight against mining is under way, with legal action launched by a group dedicated to stopping it.

Ebenezer Against Mining said legal action to halt the Ebenezer coal mine project started this week when Mines Minister Stirling Hinchliffe was served a writ by a group of residents.

Mining company OGL Resources plans to start exporting coal from an open-cut mine next year. But the residents maintain the mine lease is invalid and has taken its fight to the Supreme Court.

A spokeswoman for the group said the writ required a government response on the validity of the mining lease at the site, which is surrounded by rural residential blocks.

The Mines Minister is required to respond to the writ within 28 working days, with a hearing expected in late January.

"It's a disgrace that the government can sell our property rights to a foreign company without consultation,'' the spokeswoman said

A spokeswoman for Mr Hinchliffe confirmed the department received a Supreme Court application to set aside

the decision to renew Mining Lease 4712, covering the Ebenezer mine.

Tourism executive and Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner has joined the campaign against the mine reopening.

Mr Turner owns Spicers Hidden Vale resort, which is near the proposed new mine.

"Reopening an open-cut coal mine so close to the Rosewood community and the possibility of a new mine further west of the area is a devastating development for the local community and the environment," Mr Turner said.

"We are amazed that the State Government has allowed something like this to happen near Ipswich and in a well-known koala habitat corridor. More than 200 properties would be directly affected by the proposed mine and another 200 indirectly affected."

Ipswich City councillor and Rosewood resident David Pahlke said there should be a no-mining ban enforced between Toowoomba and the coast.

"Too often it's all about the dollars and not about the impact these sorts of projects have on people and their lifestyles," he said.

"That has to be changed and we have to take a strong stand against these proposed mines."

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