Anti-mine team looks at appeal

OPPONENTS of plans to reactivate a coal mine near Ipswich are considering an appeal after the Queensland Supreme Court dismissed their application to overturn the renewal of a mining lease.

A group headed by Flight Centre founder Graham Turner sought to overturn a decision by former Queensland Mines Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to renew a lease on the abandoned 675ha Ebenezer coalmine near Amberley.

Lawyers for the anti-mine group submitted Mr Hinchliffe had no legal right to renew Zedemar Holdings' lease on the Ebenezer mine, but the application for a judicial review of the renewal was dismissed last Friday by Justice James Douglas.

Mr Turner said the applicants were given 28 days to appeal the decision and discussions had begun with lawyers on whether to proceed with the appeal.

He said talks were also being sought with Premier Campbell Newman and new Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps.

Mr Cripps declined to comment while the case was potentially still before the courts.

"We strongly believe that open-cut coal mining in this area is totally inappropriate," Mr Turner said.

Zedemar Holdings is in the process of selling the Ebenezer mine and the nearby 9202ha Bremer View coal project to OGL Resources, which plans to reactivate the Ebenezer mine.

Mr Turner said Zedemar also held a mineral development licence (MDL) for the Bremer View Coal Project, which was a threat to about 300 landholders and a large koala population.

"Open-cut coalmines in this area would be an environmental and social disaster which could lead to the extinction of the local koala population," said the owner of Spicers Hidden Vale resort, which is near the proposed mine.

"We have had strong community support for our stand and we hope that the premier and the new minister will at least be prepared to have a meeting to hear the community concerns," Mr Turner said.

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