Felton not open to coal mines

EDITORIAL: It is difficult to comprehend how the Australian Rail Track Corporation could consider sending the Melbourne-Brisbane Inland Rail through one of the Toowoomba region's most productive agricultural districts.

A report published by the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation has identified a new route for the $10 billion inland rail project.

The "Karara route" would see the rail line pass through the Felton Valley, a region renowned for its food producing capabilities.

The release of the new report has caused great angst in the rural community of Felton.

It is the same community that after years of lobbying and protests fought off a controversial coal project proposed by Ambre Energy.

Despite prevailing in the end, the battle took a considerable toll on Felton residents.

Now that community, led by the group Friends of Felton, faces yet another fight.

Most of that group's concerns centre on the report's claims that a route through Felton was a good idea because it would be located close to the valley's coal deposits.

Surely it is time the message sunk in - the Felton Valley is not now and will never be open to coal mining.



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