Kingaroy community in one voice: coal plan rejected
IT was a packed house as residents met in the Kingaroy Town Hall on Tuesday night to discuss a planned new coal mine in the region.
The advantages and disadvantages of the proposed open cut coal mine near Kingaroy were discussed and the attendees were of one voice; they unanimously indicated their opposition to the plan.
The mine, which could encroach onto the edge of the South Burnett township, could extract five million tonnes of coal each year.
A group opposed to the mine, Kingaroy Concerned Citizens, sprung up after the proposal was made public.
Spokesman John Dalton said the community meeting had proved that proponents Moreton Resources had no social licence from residents for the proposal.
"People identified the enormity of the impact this mine would have on our town," he said.
"Irrespective of any benefit you could come up with, the feeling is that the proposed location of the mine is way too close.
"Because it's a replacement of a mine that already exists, there is no real benefit," he said referring to the exiting Stanwell-run Meandu Mine.
The meeting started off with the group giving an overview of the proposal.
Two questions were put to staff from Moreton Resources and the company was also given an opportunity to talk about the proposal.
Following a presentation from the resources company, Kingaroy Concerned Citizens then went through 21 issues they had put together prior to the night.
The concerns ranged from health, land valuation, transportation and environmental issues.
Mr Dalton said the meeting was organised after rising tensions in the community.
The region's Mayor Wayne Kratzmann and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington both spoke and many of the candidates running for South Burnett Regional Council were also in attendance.
Moreton chief executive Jason Elks reportedly said the residents' concerns would be addressed by an environmental impact study.
"We don't have the robust data people are seeking immediately and we need to get on top of that," he said.
The company undertook a pre-feasibility study last year and says more than 300 jobs would be created.