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.
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.
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.