Kingaroy Asks for Coal Permit “Buy-Back”

Kingaroy residents concerned about the health impacts from a proposed coal mine near their town are demanding the Queensland Government buys back the exploration permit from the company proposing the mine.

13062306_10154104906957103_5672929768429281312_nMoreton Resources (previously known as Cougar energy) is proposing to begin development of the open cut coal mine in 2017 just 4 kilometres south of Kingaroy.

A large number of people in the town have expressed their disapproval of the mine. They believe it will be located on some excellent agricultural land, will also have arsenic in tailings upstream from the town water supply, and will be located in a position that ensures coal dust will be prevalent in the town areas.

The request for the Queensland Government to buy-back the Exploration Permit EPC 882 comes about after the recently released study by Dr Rock Boothroyd about the probable health effects of the mine.  2016 07 Boothroyd Document  Kingaroy residents also note the example set by the New South Wales Government *1 which recently bought back a coal exploration permit near Tamworth.

A recall of the permit is one of the simplest ways for the Government to save the company from completing an expensive Environmental Impact Statement and also save the local community from further concern.” said John Dalton, spokesperson for the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG).

The local community and our local Parliamentarians can see it’s a poor proposal, and Dr Boothroyd’s study validates our concerns, so there is a strategic opportunity for the Minister Lynham to exercise his powers to intervene for the benefit of the local community, the company, and its shareholders.” Mr Dalton added.

The group is yet to receive a response from the minister.

John Dalton

(Spokesperson Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group)

0408 236 558

*1 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-11/nsw-government-buyback-caroona-mine-exploration-licence/7721936

Want to know more about where the proposed mine is?  There is a tour of the area and meet & greet with some affected land holders this weekend (Oct 1st & 2nd)  Bookings essential. Details:  https://freepress10.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/451/

…………………………………………

Hon Dr Anthony Lynham MP

PO Box 15216

CITY EAST QLD 4002

5th September 2016

RE: AUTHORITY OF THE QLD GOVERNMENT TO BUY BACK EXPLORATION PERMIT FOR COAL (EPC) 882

Dear Minister

Thank you for your response to our letter of 24th August 2016 in relation to the proposed development of a coal mine near Kingaroy by Moreton Resources Limited.

In light of the recent handling of similar applications by the New South Wales Government1, the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) respectfully requests the Queensland Government buys back the Exploration Permit EPC 882 from Moreton Resources Limited, if such an option exists under the Mineral Resources Act, or other relevant legislation.

The granting of this request is crucial to public health in the Kingaroy community based on the following:

* KCCG commissioned a detailed, independent scientific study by Dr Rock Boothroyd (attached as Appendix 1);

* Dr Boothroyd’s paper exposes the extreme public health threat of destabilised arsenic on a mine site just upstream from the Kingaroy water supply at Gordonbrook Dam;

* The Queensland Government has previously approved releases of mine water during flood events which involved calculated risks ameliorated by the dilution in an extended river system. Such dilution would not be possible in the case of the proposed Kingaroy mine as it is to be located on a small creek with local inflow to the town water supply and dilution sufficient to satisfy a reasonable risk assessment would not be possible;

* This public health threat is further compounded by the prospect of an accidental release of mine due to technical failure (as happened in the Hunter Valley in January 20162), and seepage into extensively used local groundwater aquifers;

* Our information is that the neither Queensland Government nor the South Burnett Regional Council has sufficient technical capacity to manage or rehabilitate a critical incident such as a mine volume of arsenic contaminating the Kingaroy town water supply.

* Dr Boothroyds paper also articulates the serious public health risk posed by frequent exposure to coal dust from a mine so close to town (poly-aromatic hydrocarbons in coal dust is the same carcinogenic material found in cigarette smoke; the health effects of elevated exposure to coal dust are well documented by peer reviewed scientific studies).

With the above factors in mind, KCCG is confident that its objection to the mine is both justified and likely to be sustained.

In a manner similar that currently occurring in Acland involving the Qld government, New Hope Coal, and the local affected community, we anticipate that processing this mining application will be characterised by a litany of conflict and protest.

The New South Wales Government has shown it can be done, setting an example that Queensland should not ignore.

We would welcome the opportunity to speak to these issues, either personally, or by a phone conference.

On behalf of the concerned citizens of Kingaroy,

Yours faithfully

John Dalton

(Spokesperson for KCCG)

0408 236 558

Cc: Ms Deb Frecklington MP

Mr David Littleproud MP

Mr Keith Campbell (Mayor)

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