Residents to challenge mining plans

AN IPSWICH anti-mining group has taken the first step in a groundbreaking legal challenge to mining expansion in the area.

Mining company OGL Resources plans to start mining and exporting coal from an open-cut mine at Ebenezer next year.

The Ebenezer Against Mining group has formally asked Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to explain why he renewed Mining Lease 4712.

Ebenezer Against Mining treasurer Mary Davies said the move "launched a legal process challenging the State Government's authority to allow mining to resume in the semi-rural residential area".

She said residents reported diving property values and growing fears for their area.

Mr Hinchliffe said he stood by his decision to renew the mining lease because the renewal application lodged by Zedemar Holdings, current holder of Mining Lease 4712, satisfied all requirements of the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

"The mining lease was first granted in October 1987 and the holder has complied with all terms of the lease and the Act over the 21-year term of the lease," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"I understand a local resident may be seeking a judicial review of my decision. However, I am satisfied there were no reasonable grounds under the legislation not to renew the lease."

He said the Ebenezer mine was on freehold land owned by the leaseholder and "did not encroach on other properties".

"Zedemar Holdings has the necessary environmental authority issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 for this mining lease," he said.

"The lease also complies with the Commonwealth Native Title Act and Queensland Native Title legislation.

"I understand some members of the community may be opposed to mining in the local area. As Minister, I have a responsibility to balance those concerns against the significant economic benefits and jobs mining delivers.

"The renewal of the mining lease will enable the effective use and management of the remaining mineral resources and rehabilitation of the land."

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