Coal and Minerals:
The WBBEC does not support the establishment of new open cut and underground extraction of minerals in areas where the extraction will result in adverse impacts to the environment, agricultural sustainability and community health including;
a) areas of High Ecological Significance, particularly habitat for Endangered Vulnerable and Rare species listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) on freehold, Local Government, State or Crown Land
b) protected areas such as National Parks and areas of Forestry designated for future inclusion in the protected area estate
c) nature refuges and areas under conservation covenants
d) prime agricultural land (including strategic cropping lands) and agricultural lands currently under production
e) within catchment areas of river systems
f) within 100km of the Coastal District
g) within 50km of urban areas including small communities
The Wide Bay Burnett Region is currently virtually void of active mines, however, there are many mining activities planned for the region, each with its own set of potential impacts.
The 3 key mining interests that the WBBEC is monitoring are:
- Colton Coal Project- Aldershot- http://www.newhopegroup.com.au/content/projects/development/colton
- Tiaro Coal Project- Tiaro- http://www.tiarocoal.com.au/Business-and-Project-Overview.htm
- International Coal Limited- Bundaberg Project- http://www.intercoal.com.au/bundaberg-project.htm
Currently only the New Hope Group have an application for a mining lease submitted with the Queensland Government which has been under assessment since 2010. The Colton Coal Project was not granted immediate approval, contrary to the expectations of the former operators Northern Energy Corporation, and has now been under assessment for nearly 4 years owing to the significant constraints they face in terms of ensuring that the operation will effectively mitigate impacts to ground and surface waters and loss of biodiversity in the region.
The Tiaro and Bundaberg Projects remain in the exploration phase.