Lock the Gate hail Ipswich's mining-free future
LOBBY group Lock the Gate Alliance led praise for Ipswich City Council yesterday for its commitment to a mining-free future.
The council adopted a policy statement a statement that council did not support the granting of new tenures or approvals that would allow new coal mines to open or existing coal mines to expand.
The city recognised that coal mining and coal seam gas extraction were largely incompatible with environmental outcomes, urban growth and the future liveability for Ipswich residents.
Lock the Gate spokeswoman 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."
Lower Mt Walker resident Shirley Doyle welcomed the council's decision saying it was now time to move on from mining.
"Communities in and around Bremer Valley and Rosewood have fought for years to have proposed massive mines stopped and the licences and leases extinguished," she said.
"Now is the time to extinguish the licences, diversify our economy and jobs, embrace tourism, keep our water and air clean and protect our food bowls."
But there was mixed opinion from QT readers yesterday.
Bev Draper encouraged the council to take its stance further and promote alternative energy.
"Great decision! Go the Ipswich City Council, love your work," she said. "Please encourage alternative energy into Ipswich area."
David Hitchener said he was worried about the dangers of coal seam gas mining.
"Good on you Ipswich City Council, thanks for keeping our city safe," he said.
Some readers said mining still had its place in Ipswich.
Rodney Yarrow said the city was built on the back of the coal industry.
"No money and no jobs for your kids now," he said. "A great decision I don't think so."
Brett Goodlet said councils did not have the power to stop mines.
"If state government allows them then ICC can't do much about it," he said.
"ICC is making promises they have no power to keep."
Justin Barrett said the decision meant Mayor Paul Pisasale would not be able to use his prized cup collection.
"We all take for granted where the energy comes from to turn the lights on, have a hot shower, or in Cr Pisasale's case, hot water to have a tea or coffee from his collection of coffee cups."