Mine boss hits out at 'unauthorised visitor'

UPDATE: Moreton Resources has defended the actions of a contractor alleged to have threatened a Kingaroy resident photographing a drilling operation last week.

CEO Jason Elks said the company had been made aware of an attempt to enter the drilling site and the company supported "our contractors and workers in maintaining a safe workplace for all".

"Moreton Resources is aware of an attempt to enter (an) operating drill site and as such, the unauthorised visitor was asked to remain behind the well-delineated signage and ensure their own safety as to the safety of our workforce and contractors whom have a right to undertake their role free from intrusion onto the worksite or harassment," Mr Elks said.

"It appears no other persons in the region or around the worksite have been unable to read or understand the issues around an operating drill site.

"The signage remains in place and we continue to monitor the safety of our workforce and that of the public, even if it appears one reckless individual attempted to enter a worksite which was well delineated and signed, which in turn had the potential to (put) themselves in harms way should this intervention not occurred.

"We continue to undertake our obligations of ensuring the safety of all."

Mr Elks said Moreton Resources continued to meet with interested parties and roll out its media campaigns about the project as it approached the lodgement of its environmental impact statement for assessment as part of the approvals process.

"The company continues to advance its plans and enjoys over 80 per cent awareness (Galaxy Poll) of this project within the region and the highly supportive business and general community about the significant economic benefits this project will continue to have," he said.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton.
Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton. Contributed

EARLIER: A member of a group opposed to an open cut mine in the South Burnett has claimed he was threatened by a contractor working onsite last week.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton claims he was photographing a drilling operation from outside the Moreton Resources' Kingaroy Coal Project last week when a contractor approached him, threatening to take his camera and smash it.

"It was a very tense and unexpected 20-minute standoff which ended when the contractor demanded that I leave the public road area immediately or face further consequences," Mr Dalton said in a statement sent from KCCG.

The statement said Mr Dalton did not enter the mine site and, following the incident, police were contacted regarding rights to take photos from public roads.

KCCG vice president Damien O'Sullivan said the alleged actions of the contractor went against Moreton Resources' commitment to engage respectfully with the community.

"It was almost as if Moreton Resources hadn't made the drilling contractor aware of the community interest in this project or explained their community engagement principles to them," he said.

"I am still struggling to understand how the company's well-publicised aspirations to gain a social license for this project was being advanced today.''

The statement from KCCG indicated the group would continue to document the development of the mine, but recommended group members pair up when taking photos "in the event of further intimidation by this contractor or other parties working for or engaged by Moreton Resources".

Moreton Resources has been contacted for comment.



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