Queensland towns shun mining protections

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Eight regional councils in Queensland have shunned temporary government protections from mining.

The towns of Blackall, Charters Towers, Clonurry, Clermont, and Mount Isa chose to opt out of the mining protections.

Mount Morgan, Heberton, Gayndah, Mundubbera, and Monto also joined the list.

The decision’s by local councils and towns follows the Queensland government’s move in August not to accept new exploration applications around towns with a population over 1,000.

Mining minister Stirling Hinchliffe said yesterday the decisions to opt out of the protections were based on what the towns thought was in the “best interests” of the community.

He said the freeze on exploration around towns was part of a move to balance business expansion and community concerns.

“It’s all about striking the right balance between the needs of the resources sector, the environment and the people who live and work around mining regions,” he said.

The community rejection of mining protections follow Central Queensland News reports last week that Bandanna Energy had formally applied for a mining lease on Queensland farming land.

Bandanna’s application is opposed by some local groups in the community, but the company said it was committed to following environmental guidelines.

Landholders in the region have been fighting the State Government’s decision to allow Bandanna proceed without being subject to the full extent of the state’s soon to be legislated Strategic Cropping Land Policy.

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