New coal found in Gympie region

COAL exploration is set to accelerate around the Munna Creek district on the Gympie Region’s northern fringes.

Tiaro Coal has just announced the discovery of multiple seams of coal, including high grade material, at it’s EPC 956 exploration lease, which extends from Gunalda and Theebine to west of Gundiah.

The prospect of significant mining activity in the near-Gympie area has prompted widely diverse reactions in the Gympie Region community.

Combined with news that exploration and wages to Gympie-based fly-in-fly-out mining company workers pumps many millions of dollars into the Gympie economy annually, the possibility of major new employment opportunities in our cash-strapped region has led to great enthusiasm from some.

However, farmers in the area are deeply concerned at the loss of their livelihoods, with mining replacing farming and grazing over large areas of private property.

Many complain of a double standard with the State Government preventing many of them from clearing even sapling undergrowth from economically vital grazing paddocks, while allowing the possibility of the land being torn up for extractive industry.

Conservation interests also are angry that such development could even be considered in the near-Mary River catchment.

They claim that all the downstream interests who successfully opposed the Traveston Crossing dam have much more to be concerned about with mining, saying toxic run-off into the river, its estuary and the Great Sandy Strait is inevitable on occasions.

This would greatly affect wildlife and commercial and recreational fishing interests from the Mary River Mouth to Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach.

That area is home to wildlife issues involving marine plant and animal life and is the centre of current controversy over a Federal Government review of commercial and recreational fishing rights off the Fraser Island and Cooloola coastlines.

Mining interests say the Gympie Region is already making $23.2 million a year from mining cash, including $18 million in income to 138 residing employees and contractors and $5.3 million in goods and service expenditure and community contributions.

The industry also claims flow-on benefits from indirect spending on value-adding industries and jobs.

Gympie Times

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