Bundaberg Regional Council has formally expressed opposition to any potential coal mining activity in environmentally sensitive, high-value agricultural areas.
A notice of motion put forward by Division One Councillor Jason Bartels was carried unanimously.
On 10 September 2019, Fox Resources announced drilling exploration results for the Bundaberg Coal Coking Project.
The company’s tenements include agricultural areas around Sharon, Welcome Creek, Moore Park Beach, Meadowvale, Moorland and Avondale.
Encouraged by the exploration drilling results, on 8 October 2019 Fox Resources announced they had submitted a Mineral Development Licence Application to the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (MDLA 3040).
“Although determination of the MDLA is a matter for the Queensland Government and does not grant approval to commence mining, I recognised the legitimate concern of residents in Division One and publicly declared my opposition to mining activity in this area,” Cr Bartels said.
“On 27 November 2019, Mayor Jack Dempsey stated his view that intensive mining activity is not appropriate on prime agricultural land.
“I agreed with the Mayor when he said there’s too much potential for conflict with agriculture and tourism. It’s not compatible with the Bundaberg Region being the food bowl of Australia.”
Mayor Dempsey supported Cr Bartels’ motion and said he has written to Mines and Energy Minister, Anthony Lynham.
“If the licence application were approved it would allow Fox Resources to use seismic survey and drill important agricultural land in search of coking and metallurgical coal over a period of five to 10 years,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Pending the exploration results, a submission would likely be made to the State Government seeking permission to grant approval for a substantial underground mine.
“There are significant environmental issues that would arise from coal mining, including impacts on water, flora and fauna that would have long-lasting detriment to our region.
“I’ve conveyed Council’s position to the Minister, that we oppose coal mining in parts of the Bundaberg Region that have high-value agriculture or tourism and environmental sensitivity.”