News

Mine protesters cheer reversal of OGL's plans

An aerial photograph of part of the Ebenezer Coal Mine.
An aerial photograph of part of the Ebenezer Coal Mine. David Nielsen

BREMER Valley residents are celebrating after OGL Resources failed to raise the capital to operate the Ebenezer coalmine.

OGL Resources had entered into an agreement with Zedemar Holdings in 2011 to acquire mining lease 4712, where Ebenezer mine is situated, and the Bremer View project under mineral development licence 172.

But OGL chief executive Allan Fidock resigned on Monday, just days after the company's agreement to purchase the Ebenezer coal project had expired. Just last month OGL had announced plans to spend $50 million over 12 months to recommission the site and mine 13 million tonnes of coal just 5km from Rosewood.

Shirley Doyle, spokeswoman for the Bremer Valley landholders and residents, said the community was "ready to stand together to protect our land".

"The community is now vigilant to the threat of coal and CSG mining in the Bremer Valley. We did not allow OGL to threaten our community, and we will not allow any other company to take their place," she said.

Lock the Gate Queensland co-ordinator Hannah Aulby said the community was celebrating.

"This outcome sends a strong warning to any other would-be purchasers of this coal project - be it New Hope Coal or any other company - that the local people do not want it and it will not succeed," she said.

"Any company sinking capital into this project will be wasting their money and pitting themselves against a strong and united community who are prepared to defend their livelihoods.

"We're calling on the Queensland Government to step in now and protect the Bremer Valley from any future coal expansions. They promised to protect the Scenic Rim before the last election and now it is time to act on that."

The fight to stop the Ebenezer coalmine from reopening, supported by Flight Centre founder Graham Turner, has gone all the way to the High Court.

The legal challenge is against former Queensland mining minister Stirling Hinchliffe's renewing the mining lease for Ebenezer for 15 years.

The challenge was dismissed in the Supreme Court on May 28.

Ipswich City councillor David Pahlke said mining between Toowoomba and the coast should be winding down, not winding up.

"Urbanisation and coalmining do not mix," he said.

"I've seen enough evidence in 22 years as a councillor to say that when you have houses in close proximity to coalmines it is a recipe for heartache and disaster."

Topics:  bremer valley, csg, ebenezer coal mine, graham turner, lock the gate, ogl resources




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