Research into land owners and their mining rights

The Queensland University of Technology and the Environmental Defenders’ Office (EDO) will conduct research to see if land owners are being duped on mining issues.

Land owners will be asked if they are fully aware of, understand and are consulted during mining and gas venture proposals.

The research comes as the EDO plans to support environmental activists against GVK Hancock Coal’s Alpha project, the Sunshine Coast Daily reports.

GVK Hancock managing director Paul Mulder said the EDO’s participation is “pretty bizarre” since it was funded by the Federal Government.

QUT academic Evan Hamman said students will be calling land-owners later this month as part of its “access to mining information” project.

They will compile initial feedback by October.

The students will then put a report together in November, which will be offered to the Queensland government for deliberation.

The $6.4 billion Alpha coal mine, port and rail venture is predicted to export up to 32 million tonnes of coal per year through Abbot Point coal terminal.

It faces opposition from environmentalists, with the Coast and Country Association of Queensland filing legal action earlier this year for fears of the impact it will have on groundwater.

“This mine is another monster for Queensland,” spokesman Derec Davies said.

The legal action will mean the mine will be pushed back to 2017 from 2016, the joint venture said earlier this week.

Five other groups including the Mackay Conservation Group have also filed claims against GVK.

The coal mine received Federal Government approval last year after former Federal Environmental Minister Tony Burke revoked the approval, stirring a political and environmental battle between stakeholders.

The project would create 650 jobs during port construction while the combined Alpha mine rail and port project will create 1800 on-going, intergenerational operational jobs and employ 4000 people during construction.

GVK Hancock appointed Thiess as the mine operations contractor.

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