October 19, 2016
The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) will continue its campaign to put an end to Moreton Resources’ plans to build an open cut coal mine near Kingaroy.
The group will be making a detailed submission to the State Government next month about the issues it believes should be looked at in the company’s Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
The submission will go through several editing processes and a review by expert consultants to ensure it meets Government requirements and canvasses all key issues the group believe should be examined.
Last Friday, Moreton Resources notified the ASX it had lodged an application for a Mining Licence with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The application will trigger the start of a process during which the local community will have opportunities for input into issues surrounding the proposal that it believes deserve attention.
The KCCG announced their plan to develop a formal submission at their Annual General Meeting held at Kingaroy Town Common Hall on Tuesday night, which was attended by about 50 people.
The group also launched a KCCG website and a 12 minute video (further below) at the meeting, which saw Gary Tessmann re-elected president, Damien O’Sullivan vice-president, Marilyn Stephens secretary, and John Dalton public relations spokesman.
At the meeting, Mr Dalton warned that apathy and complacency were the two biggest risks the Kingaroy community faced in relation to the project.
A common belief the coal mine would not go ahead because it was a clearly uneconomic project which posed a danger to local water supplies, residents’ health and property values was unwise, Mr Dalton said.
Many poorly-designed and unviable mining projects around Australia had been given the go-ahead in the past, and to date no mining project had ever been rejected on purely environmental grounds.
An equally common belief the KCCG had the matter in hand was also dangerous, because the Government was more likely to pay attention to objections if it could be shown that concerns about the project were spread outside a single group.
At the meeting, president Gary Tessmann thanked supporters who had donated $9000 to the KCCG’s campaign against the mine, as well as the 900 locals who’d turned out to two public meetings in Kingaroy this year to express their opposition to the proposal.
He also thanked Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and his fellow Councillors for expressing their own opposition to the project; fellow KCCG committee members for their hard work over the previous year; and the media for its extensive coverage of the issue.
Mrs Frecklington, who chaired the AGM, thanked Gary Tessmann for his own work as KCCG president, as well as local residents who had supported the group’s efforts and signed a petition against the mine.
She continued to believe Moreton Resources’ plans for the open cut mine were pointless once Stanwell made it known they would not be in the market for its coal; and said Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, who had sent an apology for being unable to attend the AGM because Federal Parliament is in session, held the same view.
“It’s no secret I do not get on well with (Moreton Executive Chairman) Jason Elks, and he is not responding to my correspondence, but he’s not going away so we need to press on,” Mrs Frecklington said.
The KCCG will now begin the process of assembling the group’s submission on the Draft Terms of Reference for an Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which must be submitted by November 14.
South Burnett residents who’d like to express their opposition to Moreton Resources’ proposed open cut coal mine near Kingaroy only have two more weeks to register their views.
A petition against the mine organised by the Knitting Nannas, which now has over 1000 signatures, will be presented to Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington early next month.
Mrs Frecklington hopes to table the petition at the final sittings of State Parliament for the year.
Knitting Nannas spokesperson Rosemary Pratt said she was pleased with the number of signatures already on the petition, but would like to see many more.
People who’d like to sign it can do so at Kingaroy Office Works in Haly Street, the Haly Street Butchery or the Home Butcher Shop immediately next to it.
Rosemary also has a regular stand at the Seeds Of Hope Markets held in Glendon Street opposite Kingaroy Shoppingworld every Thursday.
Apart from the petition, the stand has “No Kingaroy Coal Mine” signs available for a small fee, with all proceeds going to the KCCG’s ongoing campaign against the project.