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Railway Line? What Railway Line …

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Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, centre, with the just re-elected KCCG executive, from left, Publicity Officer John Dalton, Secretary Marilyn Stephens, Treasurer Abigail Andersson, Vice-President Damien O'Sullivan and President Gary Tessmann

November 10, 2017

by Anne Miller

Do you know a mining company hopes to use the Kingaroy-Theebine rail line corridor to transport coal … most likely spelling the death of the very popular South Burnett Rail Trail?

Moreton Resources’ documents indicate the company hopes to use a slightly amended version of the corridor for either a rail line, the route for a slurry pipe, or a very long conveyor belt to transport coal from its proposed Kingaroy coal mine to the coast for export.

The plans have been around for a while, but the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group – which has been campaigning against the mine for years – believes their message has not been getting through.

KCCG members met at the Town Common Hall in Kingaroy on Thursday night for their AGM.

KCCG publicity officer John Dalton told the meeting the proposed route for the coal transportation – Moreton Resources has not decided which of the three options it prefers – swings around near the Kingaroy Golf Course and Mt Wooroolin before joining up with the rail trail at Crawford.

It then follows the rail trail more or less all the way to Theebine, bypassing the town centres of Wondai, Murgon, Goomeri and Kilkivan where coal dust from rail wagons could become an environmental issue.

Mr Dalton said residents in most South Burnett towns perceived Moreton Resources’ proposed coal mine as a “Kingaroy problem” which would not affect them.

However, he said, this was not the case,

The meeting discussed a proposal to distribute pamphlets to residents in Wondai and Murgon, rather than advertising in local media.

The letterbox drop would be followed by a public meeting or meetings.

He believed the group had enough money in its kitty to pay for this letterbox campaign, which would cost a couple of thousand dollars.

The map showing Moreton Resources' proposed link to transport coal (Source: Moreton Resources)

* * *

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington took a brief break from the campaign trail to chair the AGM election, a task she has done for years.

All position holders were re-elected at the AGM: President Gary Tessmann, Vice-President Damien O’Sullivan, Secretary Marilyn Stephens, Treasurer Abigail Andersson and Publicity Officer John Dalton.

* * *

Mr Dalton shared a Powerpoint detailing the KCCG’s activities over the past 12 months, including the preparation of a 123-page response to the Terms of Reference, a successful RADF application for $3450 for the Steve Parrish workshop, the 385 Alive! arts competition and a complaint to ASIC about the accuracy of a Moreton Resources’ lodgment with the ASX.

Ms Stephens described a road survey carried out by KCCG members where they spoke to every landholder in the streets around the proposed mine, and received (almost) a 100 per cent rejection of the proposal.

The Department of Natural Resources also spent two days in the area visiting properties to register bores so a base line flow could be recorded in case this changes in future.

Mrs Neralie O’Sullivan also described unsuccessful attempts by Moreton Resources to conduct an ecological survey on her property.

A letter was also read to the meeting from an Edenvale Road resident who failed in a bid to stop Moreton drilling test holes on his property, however he had managed to reduce their planned 16 x 200 metre holes to 8 x 50 metre holes.

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* * *

Deputy Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington addressed the KCCG members

Mrs Frecklington told the meeting she supported the Meandu Mine, which formed part of the lifeblood of the local community.

“It has the advantage of being able of being expanded if we need more coal at the power station,” she said.

“But we don’t need this (Moreton Resources) mine.”

She said it was too close to town, too close to the airport and there was no financial backing.

“Some of the proposals we have seen in the paperwork are fanciful,” she said.

“It is a fanciful application by (a company which) is scaremongering in the community.

“There is no way in God’s earth that we can support this proposal.”

She pointed out that no application had yet been made to the State Government.

But she believed the proposal could not get up under current legislation because of the “rich, red soils it sits on”.

She said the proposal was also disrespectful to the South Burnett community, especially those living near to or adjacent to the rail corridor.

“Moreton Resources has been creating angst for our Kingaroy residents for many years, and now they are extending this disrespect to communities in the northern part of the South Burnett who would be impacted by their crazy rail link plan,” she said.

Mrs Frecklington was not the only Nanango candidate present at the KCCG meeting, with Greens representative John Harbison also attending. 

Mr Harbison suggested the KCCG target Moreton Resources’ proposed rehabilitation strategy for the mine.

“A mining company that is down on  its luck cannot guarantee that it will be able to rehabilitate the land,” he said.

Greens candidate John Harbison also introduced himself to the KCCG members

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4 Responses to Railway Line? What Railway Line …

  1. Barry Dobbs

    Bring It On, The young people need a job, again bring it on. Drive around the South Burnett and other councils and have a look at the empty shops, our community needs population to grow which importantly medical assistance can upgraded as our community grows. Bring it on. Why should a few control the community? Change is inevitable, it’s important to change, get with it folks.

  2. Rosemary Pratt

    There was also a powerful talk from a local resident who for years lived near to the Collinsville mine that is very close to the town.It was not a good experience in any way for her family, especially from constant machinery noise, blasting, and the all intrusive fine coal dust that invaded every aspect of their life.Another serious issue she described – which I have never heard Moreton Resources even mention let alone talk of preventing – was the gasses emitted from spontaneous combustion in the coal heaps, sometimes so severe that she had to completely shut up the house and keep the children home from school.

  3. Andrew

    We need labour-intensive industries for jobs. Not autonomous industries like coal mining which will be using machines, trucks and conveyors that are not reliant on humans to operate. How about building a correctional centre or massive aged care facility here in the South Burnett? Very labour-intensive and significant indirect investment as well with increased visitors (tourists) of inmates as just one example.

  4. Barry Dobbs

    No difference than residing in Ipswich, but the community had to progress as one and not stagnate because of one. We all have a choice where we reside if we don’t like it we move, mainly though most had a job because of the mine including those who left school the same year. If something irritates us we shift from the problem. It’s our choice.

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