The submission asks Queensland Premier Anna Bligh to make an amendment to the Mineral Resources Act that would prevent prospecting, mining and exploration in the region, as was made for the nearby Springfield area.
Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent says this is an important step towards protecting the region for generations to come. “Life in the Scenic Rim is based around agriculture, tourism and a relaxed, rural lifestyle. Coal mining and coal seam gas puts the very make-up of our region at risk.”
Cr Brent explained that while any growing region must include industry and commercial activities, these must be planned and controlled. He said Council was committed to regional growth that also protected lifestyle.
The submission is based on two arguments: That coal mining and coal seam gas is not in the public interest and that it was not the preferred use of the region’s land. “Springfield was granted exemption because the preferred use of their land was residential. In our region the preferred use of land was clearly outlined when this council was formed,” Cr Brent said.
When the Scenic Rim Regional Council was established in 2008 the Local Government Reform Commission stated, “The new council covers an area which is characterised by farming activity with a significant potential for agritourism.”
Council’s submission reads, “The threat of coal mining and coal seam gas in this area puts this very rationale at risk and contradicts why this region was established in the first place.”
The submission argues that the threat of coal mining and coal seam gas places at risk our world heritage listed national parks, biodiversity, agriculture, indigenous and cultural heritage, tourism, land based recreation, our waterways and the South East Queensland regional plan.
The Mayor commended the efforts of the group, “Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic” to stop coal seam gas exploration in the region and paid tribute to the work of Cr Kathy Bensted, who is council’s representative within the group.
The submission will be sent to Premier Bligh and LNP Leader Campbell Newman after which Cr Brent will seek meetings with both to discuss the region’s future.