A letter to the editor of the Queensland Times from Ursula Monsiegneur, Greens Candidate for Ipswich West
QT p22 4/6/2011- ‘Wayne Wendt pledges to stop mining’- WHEN? I was at the meeting in Rosewood on Wednesday 1/June/ 2011 and the extent of Wayne’s involvement was organizing a DEEDI and a DERM rep to give mind-numbing ‘information’ in the form of powerpoint, explaining the hoops a mining company has to go through to get an Exploration Permit for Coal (EPC), a Mining Development License (MDL) and eventual Mining License (ML). Wayne had organized a petition that stated he wanted to change the laws to make the companies more open and consultative, so that they had to notify land holders before EPCs and MDLs were approved. There was nothing in the petition indicating he wanted it stopped. Neither the Government Representatives, nor Wayne Wendt, could elucidate on what the company actually had planned for the area. The DEEDI rep stated that this application was not about coal seam gas mining and that it was highly unlikely that coal mining would be approved. Why would a company spend 45 million dollars, to take out an EPC and an MDL? Surely not just to dig holes in a few paddocks? Wayne Wendt does not have the intention, or ability to, change his parties policies on either coal or coal seam gas. We might feel, or are told, we are a ‘special case’ because these mines are close to residential developments. But, the people at Tara, and Acland, and many other places in Australia were not consulted and are now host to mining companies destroying their properties. And don’t bother going off to the Liberal Party to ‘voice your concerns’ they support the Labor Parties policies on mining. The only party not accepting donations from the developers and mining companies, and with a clear stand against new coal mines and coal seam gas, is the Greens.
* Ms Monsiegneur sent a copy of her letter to the QT to the Marburg and Districts Residents’ Association. It is posted here as an alternative viewpoint on the mining discussion. All opinions expressed in it are Ms Monsiegneur’s own and not those of the MDRA.
Residents of Rosewood, Marburg, Tallegalla, Grandchester and surrounding areas gathered on the chilly first night of winter to discuss proposed mining in the local areas. Residents were concerned by Mining Development Leases (MDL) granted on properties southwest of Rosewood and Exploration Permits Coal (EPC) applied for in the Marburg and Tallegalla areas. Over 200 people answered Ipswich West Representative Wayne Wendt’s invitation to meet with Queensland government officials to discuss the matter.
Speakers at the meeting were State Representative Wayne Wendt, and departmental officers Gerry McKie and Lindsay Delzoppo. Gerry McKie is the Manager, Tenures Administration , Mining and Petroleum Operations, Southern Region, Mines for the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. In real terms, this means that he has oversight of the administration of mining leases in this area. Lindsay Delzoppo spoke on behalf of the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM formerly the EPA) on environmental regulation of mining. Councillor David Pahlke also spoke. Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss attended but did not speak.
Of most interest to people was the question time. A number of members of Lock the Gates attended and tried to focus attention on coal seam gas issues. However, most people wanted to talk about local mining which is open-cut mining.
The most important issues for locals were:
- That people don’t want mining in West Ipswich because it is a rural residential and grazing area.
- People moved here for the lifestyle and value the “treechange.” They don’t want compensation – they want their land.
- People moved here to bring up their children in a clean, natural environment.
- The effect of mining on groundwater – key especially for farmers and graziers.
- The effect of current mining on air quality (and related issues with asthma), noise pollution, light pollution with night mining and coal transport through town.
David Pahlke received a resounding ovation for his declaration that what is above the ground is as important as what is below the ground.
Many attendees signed a resolution put forward by Wayne Wendt that calls for a review of the way in which exploration permits for mining are executed. The general feeling was that a stronger petition is needed calling for a declaration of this area a “no go” area for mining given that it is a population growth corridor for SE Queensland.
Wayne Wendt plans to arrange a further meeting between residents and representatives of the mining companies involved. He may be contacted at: email@example.com or by telephone on: (07) 3813 0074 OR 1800 814 856.