QLD farmer to lock bauxite miner out

A Queensland farmer says he will lock his gates today if a mining exploration company tried to enter his land.

Keith Jessen, from the South Burnett region in Southern Queensland told the ABC he had originally given permission for Queensland Bauxite to enter his property to take soil samples, because he didn’t know he had a choice.

He now says that after seeking advice, he will not allow the company onto his land in Coolabunia, south –east of Coolabunia.

"There’s no use them drilling when I don’t want them mining," he told the ABC.

"If they mine the place they ruin it.

"We run grain and cattle and if they mine on the cattle country, they make that unviable, which makes the whole set-up unviable."

Queensland Bauxite executive director Sholom Feldman says while he respects Jessen’s wishes, may be missing out on a valuable opportunity.

"We’re talking about the amount of land that may be affected by mining certainly won’t wipe out the agricultural industry by any means," he said.

"On the contrary, the type of benefit to the individual farmers and to the community would far outweigh the benefit of agriculture."

Feldman told the ABC landholders should consider the potential benefits a mine could bring and protests from minority interest groups.

"There have been quite a number of landowners that have been placed under a huge amount of pressure by these interest groups that are looking just for the headlines," he said.

"They’re actually not looking for the benefit or the interest of the individual or of the community at large."

Image: Queensland Bauxite Ltd

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