NATURAL Resource Minister Rachel Nolan has responded to community concern following the granting of a new coal exploration permit on Strategic Cropping Land by reminding residents that exploration is a far way from actual mining.
“If a mining company wants to spend its money identifying resources in a place where legally they won’t get a permit to mine, then that’s a matter for them,” Ms Nolan said.
She was responding to questions over the decision to grant Newland Resources an exploration permit in the Golden Triangle, south of Emerald, months after farmers in the area were promised the highest level of protection under SCL policy.
“I would remind people that granting an exploration permit is a long way from allowing mining to go ahead,” Ms Nolan said.
“In May this year, the Queensland Government announced their Strategic Cropping Land policy.
“We intend to introduce Strategic Cropping Land legislation into parliament by the end of this year. Once this legislation is in place, before an EPC can progress to a mining lease, tenure holders will need to demonstrate that they will not permanently alienate the land from future cropping.”