June 23, 2016
The Federal Government has ruled that Moreton Resources’ proposed coal mine near Goodger is a “controlled action”.
The means the project will require assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 before it can proceed.
The decision, which was announced on Thursday, refers to:
Moreton Resources’ fully owned subsidiary MRV Tarong Basin Coal Pty Ltd submitted the project to the Federal Department of the Environment on May 12.
South Burnett residents opposed to the mine also made a submission during the 10-day window when comments could be lodged.
At the time the referral was lodged, Moreton managing director Jason Elks said this was the first step “in a very long process to bring this potential prospect into an operational thermal coal mine supplying the off-shore markets with quality thermal coal for power generation”.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr Elks re-emphasised this was “simply the first step in what is a lengthy and in depth approvals process, but one that will have the benefits of running a bilateral approvals determination”.
“It does, however, mark the start of the approvals process, for what we hope will ultimately bring the potential South Burnett project into an operational thermal coal mine,” he said.
“As we progress through the approvals process, we will maintain open channels of communication with the wider South Burnett community, as we have been to date, ensuring they are kept well informed of all project advancements.
“It is the mandate of the company to hire local and utilise local services and infrastructure wherever possible, ensuring the surrounding communities reap the benefits of such an operation.
“Historically, communities situated near to a mine have benefited from increased economic stimulus, increased land values and have enjoyed more employment opportunities. In our view, the South Burnett would be no different.”
Mr Elks said that MRV Tarong Basin Coal would now seek to advance the project through the relevant stages of approval, working towards getting a Mining Lease approval within 18–24 months.
“As we progress our aspirations for the Tarong Basin Coal Project, we will continue to engage and connect with the wider South Burnett community,” Mr Elks said.
“I look forward to working in partnership with this regional community, and ensuring that together, this area has a strong and sustainable future.”