GT farmers up in knots
GOLDEN Triangle farmers south of Emerald have been dealt a blow by coal mining nemesis Bandanna Energy’s announcement it can proceed with a planned underground venture in the prime agricultural region.
Despite State Government Environment Minister Kate Jones’ pledge to protect strategic cropping land from mining and development, Bandanna said the department acknowledged it had met eligibility milestones for transitional arrangements with its EIS terms of reference for the Springsure Creek and Arcturus projects.
Bandanna said it would now modify mine plans at its underground Springsure Creek venture to lessen or mitigate any impact on land ultimately classified as SCL.
“The government has confirmed that although formal execution of the finalised TORs did not occur until June 2, they were practically completed by May 31 which is the eligibility milestone date for projects to be included in the proposed SCL transitional arrangements,” the company said in a statement.
“Recognising this, and the significant financial commitment of Bandanna to stage 1 of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, the government has proposed a specific legislated transitional framework to apply to the Springsure Creek project to provide for it to be developed as an underground coal project.
“Under this framework, Bandanna will be required to make all reasonable endeavours, including if necessary, contouring and laser-levelling, to rehabilitate any effects on SCL such as through subsidence.”
The company will take its chances with the SCL legislative processes for its Arcturus Creek project, which involves an open cut component in its development plan, located within the Golden Triangle.
“Bandanna has embraced the intent of any future SCL policy in planning for the development of these projects,” the company said.