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.

McDonald wins tough decision for LNP pre-selection

IN: Jim McDonald won the pre-selection to run for the LNP in the seat of Lockyer at the next state election. Pictured is Jim McDonald and current Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss who will retire at the next state election.

Jim McDonald won the LNP pre-selection for the seat of Lockyer

Lockyer Valley Speedway roars into gear

WINNER: Hatton Vale's Steve Isdale took out the legends race at the Lockyer Valley Speedway on Saturday, February 11.

First Lockyer Valley Speedway was off and racing.

Parts of Lockyer Valley can now connect to NBN

GET CONNECTED: Is your home or business ready to connect to NBN?

NBN rollout reaches Gatton area.

Local Partners

Experience dinosaur fossils at gem show

TWO dinosaur fossil displays will feature in the upcoming Gatton Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show, so be prepared to be taken back in time.

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

How Stay at Home Mum blogger Jody Allen struck it big

Jody Allen and Walt Collins will co-host the Seven Network's Stay at Home Mum television series from April.

Jody Allen's star continues to rise at incredible speed

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

AN IRATE Steve Price has threatened to quit I'm A Celebrity after a series of drama-filled clashes with Keira Maguire.

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!