Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart has refused Fox Resources’ application for a mineral development licence to further the company’s exploration for coal north of Bundaberg, citing the decision was based on public interest.
Stewart said Queensland has a strong assessment process for resources projects and will continue to assess each proposed project on its own merits.
“The resources sector continues to support about 80,000 jobs across Queensland and represents $48 billion in exports and generates millions of dollars in royalties for all Queenslanders,” he said.
“It has been a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery from COVID-19 supporting thousands of jobs throughout regional Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Government has supported more than $21 billion in resource sector investment and created more than 8000 jobs.”
Stewart said the Queensland Government supports the resources industry for the jobs it creates and the royalties it generates to fund teachers, nurses and police officers.
“However, as I have today advised Fox Resources, I have considered a significant amount of information, including submissions from Fox and detailed information from my department in reaching this decision,” he said.
“There is significant adverse community sentiment about this mineral development licence (MDL).
“This is particularly in relation to the potential negative environmental, agricultural and social impacts in the Bundaberg region.”
Stewart said he had given significant weight to the concerns of the community, which include Bundaberg Regional Council and Members of Parliament.
“Fox has not adequately demonstrated to me they can resolve or offset the public’s concerns,” he said.
“I also considered the option of approving the MDL with conditions, but I’m not satisfied this could adequately mitigate the identified risks, potential negative impacts and community concerns.”