The Ipswich City Council has dug its heels in this week, deciding there is no long-term future for coal mining or coal seam gas extraction in Ipswich because “they are largely incompatible with environmental outcomes, urban growth and the future liveability for its residents”.
The council, west of Brisbane, is the latest of several local governments around the country to act on community concerns about mining, formally resolving to oppose all coal mines, mine expansions and CSG exploration.
Once known as Queensland’s “coal city”, Ipswich only has one active mine remaining, but there are still several coal exploration permits in the area.
Councillor Paul Tully said the community had been concerned with mining companies coming in and taking over properties, according to a report by ABC.
“We want to draw a line in the sand and saying that even though it’s an old industry for the city that mining exploration and future leases are no longer appropriate,” he said.
“It’s time these activities are wound down and certainly in relation to coal seam gas exploration”.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Julie Devine congratulated the council for its “foresight” but warned the community not to be complacent.
“It’s great to see Ipswich City Council has a vision for a mining-free future and that it’s looking after the community’s health and well-being, as well as the environment,” she said.
“But the community must remain vigilant to ensure the State Government supports the council’s decision and is not railroaded by the very wealthy mining companies that won’t give up without a fight.
“The Federal Government is trying to remove people’s rights to object to mining projects in its proposed changes to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act so the battle is not over.”