Coal row heating up
COAL mining exploration is already underway in the Wolvi district, according to Queensland Greens spokesperson and the party’s Wide Bay candidate in the recent federal election, Jim McDonald.
As reported exclusively in The Gympie Times last week, mining company Tiaro Coal Limited has announced plans to commence exploration drilling soon in the Wolvi district, with another major prospect in the Neerdie-Anderleigh district, just to the north.
The company has already announced to the Stock Exchange its discovery of “achievable” reserves of 20 to 30 million tonnes of coal in the Munna Creek area, near Tiaro.
All three areas are in the Mary Basin and the Wolvi prospect is almost adjacent to the Cooloola National Park and near the politically and environmentally sensitive Noosa River headwaters.
Mr McDonald said the Greens had raised coal mining along the Mary Valley as a major issue in the Wide Bay electorate during the recent federal election campaign.
The party had also been instrumental in the rejection of a recent proposal to mine for coal near Aldershot, just north of Maryborough and also in the Mary basin.
The State Government has told the mine proponent Northern Energy that its Aldershot-based Colton open cut proposal was environmentally flawed, reportedly giving the company a year to put in an acceptable plan.
Mr McDonald said the whole Mary Valley includes areas very similar to the Munna Creek area, and people who objected to the environmental effects of the Traveston Crossing dam should be even more concerned about the impact of coal mining in areas where run-off would affect the Mary.
He said tourism, commercial and amateur fishing interests from Hervey Bay to Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach should be more concerned about the impact of mining on their fisheries than the prospect of closures and restrictions on fishing under a current federal government review of Cooloola Coast fishing rights. Mining would have “devastating effects,” he said.
Company information to the Stock Market shows Tiaro Coal share prices have more than doubled in the past 12 months.