Caution a must for coal explorers
COAL exploration in the Wolvi and Neerdie areas would have to be done very politely, to avoid a massive backlash from residents, council representatives said yesterday.
Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne said there was “a lot of distance between exploration and actual mining” and Sunshine Coast local councillor Lew Brennan said community opposition could be an immovable barrier if explorers stood on too many residents’ toes.
Biosphere proponent for the Wide Bay Burnett region and chairman of the Burnett-Mary Regional Group Evelyne Meier said while mining was possible in a Biosphere, “we would be talking to the company about doing more than just the minimum as far as its relationship with the environment is concerned”.
Both Cr Dyne and Cr Brennan (who represents the Sunshine Coast Regional Council division covering the Noosa North Shore and its hinterland) said they had only learned of the proposal from the exclusive story in yesterday’s edition of The Gympie Times.
When ABC Coast FM contacted Cr Dyne yesterday, he said he had been well aware of the discovery of deposits in the Munna Creek area, north of Gympie but not of the Wolvi and Neerdie exploration leases, held by the same company, Tiaro Coal Limited.
It was up to the State Government to have their say on any approval of whatever deposits may be found.
Cr Brennan said he did not think Munna Creek would affect the underground aquifers in his area, but the Wolvi lease could be on or near the boundary of the Noosa River catchment.
“That area is prime agricultural land and a lot of people would be involved,” he said.
“A lot of people would have to be compensated if they have to give up their lifestyle for this to go ahead.”