Golden Triangle farmer Andrew Bate has attacked the State Government for continuing to hand out coal exploration permits on Strategic Cropping Land.
Golden Triangle farmer Andrew Bate has attacked the State Government for continuing to hand out coal exploration permits on Strategic Cropping Land. James Laws

Farmers outraged with SCL 'disgrace'

GOLDEN Triangle farmers have called for a moratorium on all new exploration permits granted on Strategic Cropping Land after discovering Newland Resources was approved an exploration permit for coal south of Gindie only weeks ago.

Golden Triangle Action Group’s Andrew Bate said it was a “disgrace” the State Government had granted Newland a permit for its Cullin La Ringo project after farmers were promised the “highest level of protection”.

“This shows more than anything that the government has no commitment to Strategic Cropping Land,” Mr Bate said.

“They are throwing it right in our face - it’s just a disgrace and an absolute embarrassment to politics and everyone involved in this issue.

“We are in the protected zone, and we were told we would be offered the highest level of protection, yet they are still actively flogging off new exploration leases. What a joke.”

Mr Bate said recent media attention showed the debate over protecting the best farming land was “hitting warp speed” and warned that the wider public was waking up to the plight of farmers up against the mining boom.

“There are rallies all over the country and it is becoming obvious to many that mining companies have been given too much leeway,” Mr Bate said.

He said mining companies had effectively been given a licence to operate in the area and warned that with the continued “disrespect” they were showing for farmers, that licence would soon disappear.

Resource Minister Rachel Nolan was given a list of questions at 9am yesterday morning, but due to the late response from her department, her comments will appear in Friday’s CQ News.


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