Policy slaps small towns in face

ANTI-MINING activists have criticised the State Government’s policy to ban mining exploration permits within two kilometres of urban areas for failing to protect small towns surrounding Toowoomba.

Cecil Plains farmer Stuart Armitage said the announcement was a slap in the face for towns with fewer than 1000 people which were not protected by the policy.

“Why is there one rule for people in towns and no protection for us?” he asked.

“They’re only out there to protect the voters. They’re not interested in farmers.”

Gowrie Junction resident Lorraine Stern was hopeful her town would be exempt from future mining exploration, but suspected the new policy was just a pre-election stunt.

“I have an awful feeling it’s a bit of smoke and mirrors by the government to appease city people,” she said.

“I suspect it will be a bit like the Strategic Cropping Land legislation and very little will come of it.”

Friends of Felton spokesman Rob McCreath called the announcement a “small victory”, but said the fight was far from over.

“It is a small concession, but it is significant,” he said.

“It shows that if the government wants to change the rules, it can do so very easily.”

Mr McCreath said despite the policy, Felton remained under threat from mining interests.

“There are about 4000 people living within a 10-kilometre radius of Felton,” he said.

“But by the government definition, rural-residential areas like Felton will not be protected.”

 


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