15 September 2011

Wandoan Mega Mine

The following report was received from a concerned Australian:

Nobody I've met in Toowoomba knows about the Wandoan Mega mine -- 32,000 hectares -- the biggest thermal coal mine in the southern hemisphere!

We are literally facing the life or death of ourselves and all future generations if we, the people, don't stop it.

You should be aware -- and deeply concerned -- that these stories are NOT being reported in the Queensland media -- and Regional Councils like Toowoomba are not even telling their residents.

Mining of this magnitude will destroy our great state of Queensland as we know it -- all to save two broken and busted Governments.

In 20 years we will be a slag heap, our waters will be polluted, our Artesian Basin sucked dry -- and we will have nothing left to feed our people.

Please LOCK THE GATE and prepare to stand up and fight -- our farmland and our way of life is worth it.

Virtually the entire Darling Downs is now covered by coal permits of one form or another.

The South Burnett will be next, as well as the Brisbane Valley.

* Ambre Energy has a mining lease application over 2000 ha of Felton Valley, as well as around 70,000 ha under exploration permits all the way from Toowoomba to Warwick.

* Newmont has a mineral development license over 13000 ha south of Felton.

* Acland (New Hope mine) is currently in Stage One which covers 2,2000 ha. By Stage Three -- with the Environmental Impact Study now awaiting rubber-stamp approval -- it will include an additional 5,400 ha, giving the mine a total area of 7,400 ha. New Hope Coal owns all the farmland almost to Oakey showground, and east out to Goombungee.

* Other mining leases in the East Acland area amount to an area around 40 sq km.

* Haystack Plain: 13,000 ha of iconic Darling Downs farmland. Tarong Energy -- which is wholly owned by the Queensland Government -- owns the Mineral Development Licence for the coal deposit under the Haystack Plain. Tarong Energy representatives have stated that they have more than enough coal to service the Tarong Power Station for its entire operating life (25+ years) without using the Haystack coal deposit. They are, however, now reviewing the asset with the intention to sell the Mineral Development Licence to another company. The Haystack coal deposit is export quality coal and is likely to be exported.'

* There are exploration leases or applications for leases over the entire towns of Warwick, Highfields, Meringandan, Gowrie, Kingsthorpe, Pittsworth, Oakey, Gowrie Mountain, Hodgson Vale and Cabarlah.

* There are also applications for bauxite mines near Crows Nest and nearby Geham.

* There are bauxite exploration permits for 7,000sq kms of Qld, focused around Kingaroy and Pittsworth in particular.

* There is a permit granted for a coal mine in the Brisbane Valley only 5 kms upstream from Somerset Dam -- Brisbane's major water catchment area.

* The Qld State Government, the Toowoomba Regional Shire Council and a local developer are currently forcing through the biggest noxious and dangerous toxic industrial estate ever seen in regional Australia on the famous old grain and thoroughbred farm Wellcamp Downs -- only ten minutes from the centre of the city. At 600ha, it is double the size of the heavy industrial area for the entire city of Brisbane. The site -- a famous grain farm -- is an old koala habitat crossed by a creek that flows into the Murray-Darling. When the south-westerly winds blow in winter, noxious fumes will settle on the roofs of Toowoomba -- and straight into rainwater tanks.

* Despite the fact that Toowoomba is a Garden City with an economy based on farming, tourism, education and retirees, there have been no environmental studies on the site or buffering to protect nearby farms. One of Australia's leading Urban Planners has described the proposal as "simply unbelievable -- a blight on the landscape".

* There are now exploration leases or applications for leases over almost every major grain farm, thoroughbred farm and beef farm on the Darling Downs.


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