An alternative view on the mining meeting

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 turn out to discuss mining

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: or by telephone on: (07) 3813 0074   OR 1800 814 856.

A press release from Wayne Wendt, State MP for Ipswich West

Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt has requested that the Queensland
Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe organise for a senior departmental
officer to meet with the community and answer questions about mining
activity in the area.

Mr Wendt said that after being contacted by constituents about mining
exploration being carried out in the Marburg, Grandchester and Rosewood
areas this week, he had asked the Minister to organise the meeting as
soon as possible.

He said he wanted to make sure the community had their questions heard
and answered.

“What I’m fighting for is a balanced outcome for this community,” Mr
Wendt said.

“Mining has a 100-year history in this part of the world and I’ve been
told that there have not been any changes to legislation or regulations
that should alarm the community.

“But if people have questions, I want to see them answered.”

Mr Wendt said he had been reassured by the Minister that mining
exploration gave a company permission to explore only and not dig
minerals out of the ground.

He said there were also mineral development licences in the area which
been valid for up to 18 years and did not give a company permission to

“I’ve been reassured that if commercially viable deposits are found,
there is a strict and rigorous process that companies must go through
before they are granted permission to mine and that is by no-means
guaranteed,” he said.

“Environmental and social impacts are always considered and there is a
chance for public input.

“I’ve also been reassured that landholder protections are in place
preventing exploration near places like homes, dams, churches, schools
and permanent stockyards.

“There are strict requirements in place that make it necessary for
companies to work with landholders and gain conduct and compensation
before advanced exploration activities like drilling are carried out.”

Strategic Cropping Land protections are also currently being considered
by this Government which aims to protect the most valuable cropping land
in our state.

Coal Mining Exploration

Exploration permits for coal mining have recently filed with Queensland Mines & Energy for large areas of land around Marburg.  The attached map shows areas for which application has been made for EPCs (Exploration Permit – Coal).  These areas are lightly hatched on the map.

Applications for the two EPCs covering the area close to Marburg (EPC
and EPC 2374) can be seen by clicking on the links.

Our understanding is that these EPCs have not yet been granted.
However we understand that the process is further advanced in the Mt
Mort area where some landholders have received letters advising them
of the intention to enter their land for mining exploration purposes.

Information for landholders regarding land access is available on the
Queensland Mines and Energy website at

Although this is not a local government issue, we understand that Cr
Pahlke is coordinating some community action regarding this issue.

As this is a state government issue, we suggest that our local member
Wayne Wendt be contacted for more information (phone 3813 0074 or 1800
814 856)

Seniors’ Celebration

The City of Ipswich is launching its Seniors’ Celebration at Marburg on Monday 16 August. Mayor Paul Pisasale and Councillor David Pahlke will be in attendance.

Starting at 9am and running through to 1pm there will be:

* Free Morning tea and lunch
* A First Aid overview and CPR demonstration
* Tai Chi class
* Trivia Competition
* All day entertainment and activities
*Launch of the Rosewood Scrub Historical Society’s new book – Winning the Coal: Coal Miners’ Stories from the Rosewood Scrub.
* The Rosewood Scrub Historical Society will be open all day for visitors.

All events will be held in the Marburg historical precinct at the corner of Queen and Edmond Streets, Marburg.

Contact: Barry Gratton 5464 4624 or Phil Marshall 5464 4903