Lockyer Valley wants to be mine-free zone

MINE-FREE ZONE: Radio personality Alan Jones and Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones have joined forces to save the Lockyer Valley from being mined for coal seam gas.
MINE-FREE ZONE: Radio personality Alan Jones and Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones have joined forces to save the Lockyer Valley from being mined for coal seam gas. Amy Lyne
Vicki Perrin, Sarah Moles and Julie Devine with Lock the Gate founder Drew Hutton at the forum against Coal Seam Gas mining in the Lockyer Valley on Sunday, October 9. Photo Amy Lyne / Gatton Star
Vicki Perrin, Sarah Moles and Julie Devine with Lock the Gate founder Drew Hutton at the forum against Coal Seam Gas mining in the Lockyer Valley on Sunday, October 9. Photo Amy Lyne / Gatton Star Amy Lyne

More than 200 people joined the Sydney radio personality at a public forum held in Grantham on Sunday, along with Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones, Lock the Gate founder Drew Hutton and Growcom representative Matt Hood from Rugby Farm.

The forum was all in the name of protecting the Lockyer Valley from coal seam gas mining.

While coal seam gas exploration is not a current reality for the valley, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council decided the threat was close to home.

The Somerset is currently fighting against it, and the people at the forum have begun the process so that the Lockyer Valley could become a mining-free zone before it is too late.

Mr Jones said while he could not believe the area was in the position where they had to rally, he was happy to be here.

"Only 4% of Australia is prime agricultural land and this is part of that 4%. Basically I am here because I am a farmer's son," he said.

"There are people waking up every day worrying what is the future for their children."

He said we have reached the point whereby we had to indicate on national maps the land that could not be touched, kept purely for agriculture.

"They cannot co-exist, there is no co-existence, that is not possible. We are going to turn our best land into an industrial wasteland," he said.

"So if we say 'there are the lines on the map and you cannot go anywhere near there' and you don't talk about co-existence, then there will be a greater clarity for owners.

"There are about 274 local communities in Australia now who have said that the gates will be locked.

"But there should be no mining in built-up areas, none. There should be no mining prime agricultural land, there should be no mining over water."

Mr Jones said there were two issues, the mining as well as foreign ownership.

"I recently had dinner with some people including Chinese businessmen and they said, 'can I tell you confidentially, in China they are just laughing, they can't believe Australia is allowing us, Chinese interests, to come in'," he said.

"China wouldn't allow in China to let happen what is happening here."

Lock the Gate founder Drew Hutton said the forum was the first step in becoming a mining-free community.

"It is madness bordering on criminality to allow coal seam gas in this area," he said.

"Not only will it affect the soil, because you are talking about bringing up salty water and salty water on this sort of soil is death to the soil, but it also interferes with the operation of the farmer. You cannot irrigate in a gas field.

"These companies demand the right to go wherever they want, there is only one thing that stops them and that is a national park."

He said the only thing that could really stop CSG mining in this community was community resilience.

Cr Jones said the event was co-ordinated by council as well as the Ratepayers Association of the Lockyer Valley and Lock the Gate.

"Today is not about a protest. We feel that it is a celebration, a celebration of a great asset that we have been given, that we want to keep in place for farming forever and a day," he said.

Topics:  coal seam gas lock the gate lockyer valley lockyer valley regional council

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Motoring show to rev up support for hospital

FAMILY FUN: Three of the sensational cars that will be on display at the Gatton Auxiliary Show and Shine.

Car, Ute and Bike Show and Shine is coming to town for a good cause.

Student wins half price fees

FUTURE VET: Brook Cridland, winner of the Country Challenge on Campus.

Year 11 runner wins $4500 university prize.

Gatton and Forest Hill make it two from two

PACE: Gatton Fordsdale bowler Chris O'Brien sends a speedy delivery to Southern Lockyer's Shaun Ashley during the A-grade fixture at Ropehill on Saturday.

Gatton and Forest Hill both won their round two fixtures.

Local Partners

Do you recognise this distinctive blue and white ute?

IF you've seen a distinctive white tray-back ute with a blue bonnet around the region, the Gatton Police want you to contact them.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.