MINING FREE: Paul Kennedy and Col Thompson want to keep open cut coal mining out of the Bremer Valley.
MINING FREE: Paul Kennedy and Col Thompson want to keep open cut coal mining out of the Bremer Valley. Gary Worrall

Rosewood group fight mining proposal

PROPOSED plans to create an open cut coal mine near Rosewood have locals fearing for the district's environmental heritage.

Paul Kennedy and Col Thompson of the Rosewood and District Protection Organisation (RDPO) say the proposal to create an open cut mine is not in the district's best interests.

The MDL (mining development lease) 172 covers more than 9000 hectares, to Thornton in the Lockyer Valley, although areas of "prime" agricultural land are exempt from mining development and exploitation.

"We are not shying away from the history of coal mining here, but it is a long history of underground, not open cut," Mr Kennedy said.

"You cannot control the impacts of an open cut mine - there are issues with dust, lighting and noise that impact everyone."

Mr Kennedy said the district's connection to underground was well known, with entire communities built on mining.

"But those miners live here, raise their families here and spend money here, where open cut is a different situation," he said.

Mr Thompson said when the nearby Jeebropilly open pit was being dug, anecdotal reports from neighbouring farmers told of a four-metre drop in standing water levels up to 12 kilometres from the mine site, when excavation hit an underground aquifer.

"The water ran for days at the mine, as the water level fell," Mr Thompson said.

In 2002, Mr Kennedy was part of a group that fought the New Hope mine company over a proposed extension to an existing open cut mine.

"The Land Resources Tribunal accepted our concerns over environmental damage," he said.


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