On the weekend there were a group of people who traveled from Brisbane to Kingaroy to learn more about the region and what would be lost if Moreton Resources proposed open cut coal mine was to be developed.
The group visited a variety of tourist hotspots including Bethany, Kingsley Grove Winery, Cranes Winery, Kingaroy Observatory, Crumptons Peanut Factory and the Whipbird Cafe. They also got to visit some highly productive farms where they saw organic food being grown, got to feed hay to the cows and learnt more about the iconic Kingaroy Peanuts.
Locals who don’t live on the proposed mine footprint also came to learn more for themselves. Sue from Nanango said, “We live in a very special place, with such diversity and history, why should a coal mine be allowed to take this all away?”
Karen from Brisbane stated, “the tour gave me a chance to hear the stories of lives put on hold and filled with an uncertain future. It was good to see the fertile lands that are under threat. City people do not know about this issue yet, so the country people and their struggle need to come to the city. Using pumpkin scones and peanuts as the symbols of the struggle might work. My wow moment moment was a tie between the moment the roof opened at the Kingaroy Observatory and realizing that John Bjelke-Petersen was welcoming me into his property. Historically I was opposed to his father’s political stance but now we are on the same side, protecting country from inappropriate coal mining.“
Annette, the organiser of Bridging the Divide said “the country hospitality and the time invested in sharing landholders livestyle and concerns of the mine were greatly appreciated. Coming from the city we don’t get to appreciate the dark night sky as displayed at the Kingaroy Observatory. It was also great to spend a couple of days in the scenic country and to connect to this amazing red soil.”
The Bridging the Divide bus rolled back to Brisbane filled with bottles of wine, bags of peanuts and peanut paste, organic fruit and veges and SD cards filled with photos. Most of all, the participants have a deeper understanding of how rich of a region Kingaroy is and why it should not have an open cut coal mine.
Photos supplied by Rachel Long (www.rachellong.com.au)
1. Tour group walking across the paddock at Damien and Neralie O’Sullivan
2. Country hospitality for lunch at Bethany
3. Tour group standing amongst peanut silos at Crumptons
Cassie McMahon (South Burnett based) 0427 166 166
Annette Hutchins (Brisbane based) 0406 654 626
Many more photos of the tour available here: Bridging the Divide – Kingaroy Tour photo set