January 23, 2018
Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton has denied he was trying to enter a drilling site near Kingaroy when an alleged altercation occurred with a contractor last week.
Mr Dalton has alleged the contractor, hired by mining company Moreton Resources, spotted him taking photos from the roadway and approached him.
He told southburnett.com.au the man threatened to smash his camera and also said he would smash cameras from any media organisations who tried to photograph him.
Mr Dalton said he reported the alleged incident to two police officers at Kingaroy Police Station but did not lay an official complaint.
The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) is opposed to the development of Moreton Resources’ proposed open cut coal mine, saying it is too close to homes and could affect underground water.
Mr Dalton said the incident on the roadway was a very tense, 20-minute stand-off.
He categorically denied making any attempt to enter the drilling site, but admitted he had no witnesses as he was by himself.
Moreton Resources CEO Jason Elks told media on Monday that an attempt had been made by a “reckless individual” to enter the drilling site and that he supported the contractor’s actions.
“Moreton Resources is aware of an attempt to enter (an) operating drill site and as such, the unauthorised visitor was asked to remain behind the well-delineated signage and ensure their own safety as to the safety of our workforce and contractors whom have a right to undertake their role free from intrusion onto the worksite or harassment,” Mr Elks said.
“It appears one reckless individual attempted to enter a worksite which was well-delineated and signed, which in turn had the potential to (put) themselves in harm’s way should this intervention not (have) occurred.
“We continue to undertake our obligations of ensuring the safety of all.”
KCCG Vice-President Damien O’Sullivan said the group intended to continue to take photos and document lawfully the development of the coal mine but has recommended members always do so with a second person present.
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UPDATE January 23: Acting Officer-In-Charge of Kingaroy Police, Acting Senior Sergeant Brent Gerber, confirmed Mr Dalton had contacted Kingaroy Police and sought advice. No criminal complaints were received.
“I consider this matter resolved and no further police action is required in relation to this specific incident,” Acting Snr Sgt Gerber said.
“I would expect that all parties are respectful of each other’s lawful rights and encourage a peaceful, respectful discussion to resolve any further conflict should it arise.”