MEMBERS of the Somerset Region combined forces in Esk to declare themselves mining-free on the weekend.
People from the Ottaba, Coal Creek, Mt Beppo, and Esk-Crows Nest Rd areas made the announcement at a public meeting in Esk Memorial Park on Saturday.
The declarations were made after several months of survey work, completed by members of the Esk and Mt Beppo community action groups, in the four current areas of interest to Coalbank.
The surveys indicated that 89% of local residents were opposed to mining in the region. Only 3% were in favour, with 8% undecided.
Mt Beppo Community Action Group spokesperson Deb Edwards spoke on the day, along with Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann and Somerset Regional Council Acting Mayor Cr Dan Hall.
Ms Edwards said she was happy with the turnout on the day.
"We are hoping to make more of our local community aware of the issues that we could be facing and also by making a public declaration to be handed on to State Government members that we get the message through to the State Government that we are just not going to tolerate any form of mining in the Somerset Dam or Wivenhoe water catchment areas."
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the idea of coal exploration or mining near the Wivenhoe dam was 'mad' and 'dumb'.
The declaration came just days before the State Government controversially changed the rules to make it hard to object to mining leases.
More on that decision to come.
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