Golden Triangle slows Bandanna

The Bradford girls play at Arcturus Downs in the Golden Triangle. The property, said to have some of the state’s best cropping soil, remains under threat from coal mining. Photo: James Laws
The Bradford girls play at Arcturus Downs in the Golden Triangle. The property, said to have some of the state’s best cropping soil, remains under threat from coal mining. Photo: James Laws

GOLDEN Triangle farmers are calling on Premier Campbell Newman to come through on promises he made to protect cropping properties from mining operations near Springsure in his visit to the region last July.

The renewed calls from the Golden Triangle Action Group come on the back of a Supreme Court ruling to repeal Bandanna Energy's Certificate Of Application for a mining lease at its controversial Springsure Creek project.

The project was allowed to proceed on some of the state's best cropping land under special "transitional arrangements" by the previous Labor government.

But after affected landholders spotted errors in the mining lease application, they called for a judicial review and the COA was repealed on March 20 in Rockhampton.

"Given the number of mistakes in the application we would hope (Bandanna) would have to start the process again," GTAG's Lizzy Bradford said.

"When Mr Newman came out here last July he said he would do what he could to help us on the Bandanna issue if he got in power. Well here's his chance."

A letter from the mining registrar sent to the landholders cited " technical defects" in a aerial mapping photograph as the reason to repeal the COA.

Affected landholder Kate Sullivan said Bandanna Energy had "photoshopped" significant dams and infrastructure out of the map and it did not accurately showing the improvements on the land.

Mr Newman has already expressed a desire to offer Golden Triangle landholders certainty since coming into power.

"Land use plans will be fast tracked for the Golden Triangle… to ensure the protection of our best cropping land," a spokesman for the Premier said.

The spokesman also confirmed the Premier had ordered a comprehensive brief from the new Department of Natural Resources and Mines on Bandanna's Springsure Creek project.

In July last year, Mr Newman gave an "ironclad" guarantee to protect the Golden Triangle.

"You cannot have underground mining that will compromise the ability to work the land," he said at the time.

"I'm telling it to you straight and precise. If there is going to be subsidence (from underground mining), it's not going to happen."

A DNRM spokesman confirmed the Springsure Creek MLA was no longer valid.

After repeated requests by the Central Queensland News to the Premier, the DNRM and the company, it remained unclear exactly what the repercussions would be.

Yesterday a Bandanna Energy spokesman played down the decision, saying discussions with the State Government were continuing and the application was "still on foot".

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