Mt Barney Lodge owner Innes Larkin said “the diversity and number of people attending the meeting and the level of preparation most of them went to undertake their own research on Carabella Resources and State Government legislation, shows how seriously this threat is being taken by the community.”
Community members from across the Scenic Rim were represented, as well as 3 traditional owners from the Ugarapul aboriginal group. Ruth James, a Ugarapul elder, said that “The mountains and valleys of the Scenic Rim are very significant to our people, for our stories and our connection. We would like to offer whatever support we can to help protect them.”
Cr Dave Cockburn and Cr Kathy Bestead attended as concerned residents, but they were also able to clarify Council’s actions in the last week and offered constructive suggestions on how to best proceed.
An initial action plan was distributed as part of the briefing which encourages all concerned residents to start a letter writing campaign to State and Federal Members of Parliament.
Innes Larkin said, “there is no better way to gain traction with government than by writing an original heartfelt letter containing all the relevant facts.”
Residents were also strongly advised to contribute to the Scenic Rim Community Plan.
Cr. Dave Cockburn said “the Community Plan is a powerful document that community has direct input into. It will overarch even the SRRC Corporate Plan and is a document that will be submitted to the State Government.
“The State Government will be required to take community views into account because of the strength of this document,” he said.
The attending Councillors were thanked for their positive commitment at the meeting. Tricia Stinson challenged Mayor John Brent, who was not present at the meeting, to “send out an early and clear message to Federal and State bodies and industry, both formally and informally, that coal exploration and mining in the Scenic Rim is not welcome or tolerated.”
A Committee of volunteers was elected and they now have a mandate to act on behalf of the community. The new committee members are Bill Parke, Tricia Stinson, Cr Kathy Benstead, Leona Taylor, Anita Smith and Innes Larkin. Their first task after meeting is to formalise the committee structure and develop an action plan.
Further communication with the community is a priority and supporting information will soon be available on posters, emails, Facebook, and via letterbox drops.
Information about Carabella Resources can be found at: http://www.carabellaresources.com.au/Projects/BarneyViewAndMaroon.htm
Input into the Scenic Rim Community Plan can be made at: http://www.scenicrim.qld.gov.au/get-involved-and-have-your-say