Second bid in court to stop mines
OPPONENTS of coal mines near Ipswich are preparing a second legal challenge in the Queensland Supreme Court.
A judgment is pending on a bid by a group headed by tourism executive Graham Turner to overturn a decision by former Mines Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to renew a lease on the abandoned 675ha Ebenezer coal mine near Amberley.
Lawyers for the group submitted that Mr Hinchliffe had no legal right to renew mine owner Zedemar Holdings' lease on the mine.
Zedemar Holdings is in the process of selling the Ebenezer mine and the 9202ha Bremer View coal project south-west of Ipswich to OGL Resources, which plans to reactivate the Ebenezer mine.
Mr Turner said the second Supreme Court application would be to block any renewal of Zedemar's mineral development licence (MDL) for the Bremer View coal project.
"About 300 landholders and a large koala population would be threatened if a coal mine went ahead in that area," said the owner of Spicers Hidden Vale resort, which is near the proposed mine.
"Any mining activities would result in an environmental and social disaster for the local community, and if approved would ruin the landscape and threaten native animals such as koalas."
He said the battle against the renewal of the MDL was now clouded by the fact Mr Hinchliffe was no longer mines minister after losing his seat in Labor's landslide Queensland election defeat.
"The community is joining forces to stop these proposed mines and we hope the new LNP government is listening," he said. "But regardless of who owns the MDL, the community is determined to have this threat to their well-being and livelihoods rejected by the courts.
"We already have a good number of landholders who have joined the cause and more are expected."