Regions want city to rally behind mining battle

CITY residents need to lose their apathy and join the fight against coal and coal seam gas mining if crucial food and water supplies are to be protected, according to those at the centre of the battle.

Yesterday, the Lock the Gate Alliance joined with environmental and community groups, including Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic and others, to hang banners from the cliffs at Kangaroo Point.

Each banner held a message from the six south-east Queensland regions most vocal in their concern for the effects mining will have on the wider community.

"It's about showing that the regions around Brisbane are united and we are crying out for Brisbane to become involved, to get into it and realise all these beautiful regions are under threat from coal and coal seam gas," south-east Queensland Lock the Gate Alliance co-ordinator Innes Larkin said.

''If people want their land, their water and their scenic amenities retained then they have to join with us and join the fight against coal and coal seam gas.

"I don't think awareness in the cities is as high as we want it. In our region, [the Scenic Rim] we have a united community which is clearly against coal and coal seam gas and, when we do events, we get a really good turnout.

"But in the city, I don't think we have got the message across and that is what this was all about, making the people of Brisbane understand the regions around them are crying out for help."

Mr Larkin said the fight would be "long and hard" but, until the government defined what it considered "inappropriate and appropriate areas" for coal seam gas mining, it would continue.

"When they find truck-loads of gas, it doesn't seem to matter how special the environment is; there has never been a coalmine refused in Queensland," he said.

"We have a history of approving stuff regardless of the high value or the specialness of the land.

''We are doing coal seam gas mining on the Darling Downs for goodness sake and that is Queensland's best agricultural land.

"Everything that is happening, while it might seem far removed from Brisbane or the city, it has far-reaching consequences.

''Which is why we are trying to engage the people of Brisbane, to get them on board. This is something that affects all of us."

Mr Larkin said the groups fighting the mining battle had a "combined budget of about $5000" with which to raise awareness and they were still working on "finding that big thing that will get people outside of these regions interested and aware of what's going on".

"So yes, we know what we are up against," he said. "But the thing with all of this is that all the government and people have to do is say 'yes', and it will happen.

''So let's make the hard decision early, so we don't stuff it up for future generations."

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