Forum looks Beyond Coal and Gas
LANDHOLDERS threatened by mining will this weekend converge on Hay Point, near Mackay, for the Beyond Coal and Gas Forum: Uniting communities affected by the boom.
"We have brought together a range of voices to help communities and landholders overcome the steep learning curve that is necessary when coal and gas companies decide to set up shop in their region," forum organiser Ellie Smith said.
Critically acclaimed Rich Land, Wasteland - How coal is Killing Australia author Sharyn Munro will be a prominent speaker.
"It's important to get a national perspective because it's not just happening in Queensland, but all over Australia," Ms Munro said.
"We need government to change regulations and laws - a different approach. What I have seen should not be happening to Australians.
"I can't tell you the number of people I've come across who have had complete nervous breakdowns."
Ms Munro said it was critical communities and landholders unite if change was to be achieved.
"Once people realise how many others are going through this, it's powerful," she said.
"Just recently I saw some CWA ladies marching for the first time in their 90-year history. That shows that traditionally conservative people are standing up because they realise their government isn't going to do it for them.
"It's no good negotiating with these companies - that's the truth. Many of them lie and so often trample on the landholder, that was the biggest shock I think, the dishonesty that some of them operate with."
Capricorn Conservation Council project officer Chantelle James said the forum was the first time central Queensland landholders had a chance to come together to network, share ideas and plan for a less destructive and more positive future for food, water, energy, people and environment.
"We're inviting people from all over regional Queensland to come together to learn and share strategies for protecting our land, our water, our reef and all their associated industries," Ms James said.