Council shock at open-cut coal mine for New Chum
MINING has always been a big part of Ipswich's life but the city council is sick of being left in the dark over coal mining plans in the area.
The latest project to raise the council's ire is a proposed open-cut coal mine at New Chum that has been given the go-ahead to proceed.
As The QT reported last October when plans for the mine surfaced, Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood was leading the opposition to the mine.
At the council's meeting last week, Cr Attwood said it was time for the council to have more say about mining activity.
"I only found out this week the mine at New Chum has been approved," Cr Attwood said.
"We should be able to avoid what I believe is a totally inappropriate place for a mine."
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said it issued Oxley Plant Sales - the owner of the mine site - with a draft Environmental Authority on January 17.
"Objections to the draft EA from parties who provided submissions under Public Notification provisions close on February 21," a spokesman said.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said community consultation and discussions with the council were vital.
"Over many years we've been a pro-development council and I stand by that but not at the expense of the community," the Mayor said.
"One of the things the council prides itself on is community consultation.
"When I see things like this happen I think no wonder the public gets upset," he said.
Rural councillor David Pahlke reaffirmed his often-stated opinion that coal mining should be a thing of the past in residential areas.
"I've said for a long time it's time for a sunset clause on mining," Cr Pahlke said.
"I've been fighting mining for 23 years as a councillor.
"The sad thing is whoever is in power; whatever side of politics, they do the same. They don't listen to the people. It's sad.
"The State Government's decision-making process overrides the council. We have no say in it.""
Cr Paul Tully agreed.
Cr Tully said: "We need to find the right balance.
"Mining has its place but not in residential communities".
"This is clearly not a matter of NIMBY - not in my backyard," Cr Bruce Casos said.
"It's not a matter of long-standing mines and people moving close to them."