News

Lockyer Valley declares war on ‘mining invasion’

IN WHAT Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones described as "an unusual alliance", the council, Lockyer Valley Ratepayers Association and the Lock the Gate group came together yesterday to rally against coal seam gas mining in the Lockyer Valley.

Cr Jones said the ratepayers association in particular was regularly at odds with council but the issue of mining Queensland's salad bowl was so important it had galvanised the region.

Sydney-based shock jock Alan Jones was a special guest speaker at the forum and rallied the crowd of about 200 to stand up against mining of the valley.

Mr Jones spoke about the potential danger of water contamination that mining could produce.

"Sheer greed" was driving the mining of good farming land in Australia, he said.

Cr Jones said the whole of the Lockyer Valley needed to be declared a mining free zone.

Proposed drilling in the nearby Somerset region had prompted the forum at Grantham yesterday.

"It's the fact they're now starting to work towards drilling over in the Somerset region which is next door to us," Cr Jones said.

"We always thought that we would be safe because of the nature of the place but when they've started to drill holes or are intending to drill holes in the water catchment of Brisbane, it started to make us nervous.

"This is an extremely valuable place. The land is irreplaceable.

"We're not against gas or mining but this is just not the place for it.

"This is not an outlandish protest, it's a forum because people are serious about our region."

Alan Jones speaks at a Grantham community meeting to protest coal seam gas and mining exploration in the Lockyer Valley.
Alan Jones speaks at a Grantham community meeting to protest coal seam gas and mining exploration in the Lockyer Valley. Kevin Farmer

Cr Jones said mining the Lockyer Valley was not just a local issue but a national one.

"We can actually supply 90% of Australia's vegetables in the winter, so this land needs protecting."

Alan Jones said Australia was facing twin issues.

"We are going through the worst drought in God knows how long," he said. "The other thing we have to watch is this question of foreign ownership."

China in particular was moving in on farming land and production across Australia, he said.

"And now we've got the mining invasion in this country," Mr Jones said. "I've got nothing against foreign investment but these people are owning... owning."

Mr Jones said drought drove farmers to the wall, making them vulnerable to takeovers by foreign companies. He supported the redrawing of a map to protect Australia's food bowls where no mining would be permitted.

Topics:  alan jones, coal seam gas, editors picks, lockyer valley, mining



City centre dances back in time for Kitsch in the Swich

Megan Mitchell, Deborah Farrell, and Lily Mitchell at the Kitsch in the Swich in the Ipswich CBD on Saturday.

The city was transformed into a retro lovers paradise on the weekend

Family and friends unite to help after son's death

The Maskell family with son and bother Jack (centre) who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday.

Jack Maskell died in a traffic crash late last week

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

Local Partners

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'