MP’s Ray Hopper from the Queensland parliament and Ian Macfarlane from the Federal parliament headlined the meeting held last week at Felton.
Ray Hopper MP
Ray used his experience with the Ackland Mine as an example of the growth in size of mining in the area, and stated that whilst not against mining per se, he is totally against the destruction of prime farming land. He is concerned that the proposed rail link to Gladstone will open up more prime land to mining, which should be preserved for feeding and clothing our nation. Ray highlighted similar issues that Friends of Felton face in the Liverpool Plains and the Hunter Valley. At the “Meeting of the Minds”, organized by Bruce Scott MP in Dalby, a map was shown where all the farming land on the Downs was potentially covered by exploration leases, which was of great concern to Ray.
Ian Macfarlane MP
Ian pointed out that this is mainly a State issue with little Federal jurisdiction, but that his base belief is in agriculture. He encouraged Friends of Felton supporters to lobby the new Liberal/National party in Queensland to commit to strengthen the laws protecting arable land, as part of their election platform. Ian suggested the proposed carbon tax may have some impact on mine development, and if the oil price were to drop below $100 per barrel, the “Coal to Liquids” process is likely to become unviable economically.
Projects for the sequestration of CO2 have not been successful to date, and the only working project in Norway is under suspicion for leakage of the gas. Physical sequestration has a long way to go.
Change of use application
Ambre Energy have applied for the above on a Felton property to base a site office for the mine. Anyone wishing to lodge a submission to the Toowoomba Regional Council has until 6 August to do so, and the application can be viewed under the planning and building section of the TRC website, code 2008/3040
A very successful working bee has resulted in 2 large mobile signs being displayed in the Felton area, and further publicity is being planned.
The slogan for this week is Clean Coal, Dirty Joke
The next meeting will be held at the Felton Hall on Tuesday 5th August.
Secretary Friends of Felton