IN A historic decision, Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) has become Queensland’s second council to flatly oppose resource exploration and mining on council land.
At a meeting in Stanthorpe yesterday, the council unanimously voted to object to any form of coal seam gas, oil or coal mining in its prime tourist, rural lifestyle and productive agricultural areas.
The Southern Downs joins Scenic Rim Regional Council that voted in 2012 to severely restrict inappropriate mining.
“We are taking the message to the State Government on behalf of the region that alarm bells are ringing about the potential impacts of resource sector development on the ‘right to farm’, slippage, amenity, the road and rail network, fragile underground water supplies and on the environment,” said Cr Jamie Mackenzie, who moved the lengthy motion.
Greens candidate Elizabeth Ure said she was heartened by the ban and praised council for “showing leadership in our region and beyond”.
“It’s significant that a council in LNP heartland have shut the door on mining and exploration on council land,” she said.
“It’s a clear message to the major parties that Queenslanders don’t want coal and CSG in their communities and they should take note.”
Clean Air Queensland co-ordinator Michael Kane said there were at least nine exploration leases currently active on the Downs and called on the neighbouring shires of Toowoomba, Western Downs and Goondiwindi to follow suit.
“Though this decision only protects the areas that council are primarily responsible for … it is a relief to think that the suffering and disadvantage caused to the residents of Acland, Jondaryn and Oakey may not be repeated here,” Mr Kane said.
For more on the reaction to the news, see next Thursday’s edition of the Free Times.
- Pakenham Gazette
- Berwick Gazette
- Berwick News
- Pakenham Officer News
- Cranbourne News
- Dandenong Journal
- Journal News
- Mail Newspaper Group
- Mountain Views Mail
- Ranges Trader Mail
- Mount Evelyn Mail
- Ferntree Gully Belgrave Mail
- Upper Yarra Mail