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




Stay Connected

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

Ban developer donations: Speaker on Sekisui debacle

Independent MP Peter Wellington gives a passionate speech during protests outside the Nambour Council Chambers to prevent a 'secret' council town planning meeting regarding the high rise Sekisui development at Yaroomba. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily

Developers should be banned from makiing campaign donations

Web of broken promises leaves us with dud internet

SECOND BEST: Cr Paul Tully has lamented the poor internet service that afflicts parts of the city.

"We are going to end up with a second rate service across Australia"

Mum's $12,000 bill shock: "I just broke down in tears"

NOT HAPPY: Queensland Urban Utilities has slapped Sherelle Taylor with a $12,113 water bill.

Sherelle Taylor was in disbelief when she opened her water bill

Latest deals and offers

Dami Im welcomed home after Eurovision

Dami Im visits her old school John Paul College after coming second in Eurovision 2016.

Dami Im put on a show for her old school John Paul College in Daisy Hill this...

Bennett, Langer, Thurston and others talk Cam Smith

Broncos and former QLD coach Wayne Bennett.

Broncos and former QLD coach plus past and present players talk about Cameron...

Mt Crosby Road and Warrego Upgrade

The Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey with Member for Ipswich...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked