This impending project brings Queensland’s two most significant industries head to head – coal mining and tourism. The Mt Barney precinct is a thriving tourism destination recognised by Tourism Queensland and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council. It is a region that is only 90 minutes drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, yet retains a sense of wilderness and escape from the urban centres that surround it. This region is also important to Brisbane and Gold Coast residents who have visited it over the years for bushwalking and camping, and have a wealth of collective memories and experiences from the area.
The plan for coal mining is in direct conflict with the voiced dreams of The Scenic Rim community, who clearly expressed their vision to council during the recent community consultation process during council amalgamations in 2008. The shared dream is to value and protect the environmental assets, scenic amenity and rural character and lifestyle of The Scenic Rim.
On Friday 18th February, fifty concerned Scenic Rim residents met at Mt Barney Lodge and were facilitated by owner/operator Innes Larkin on how to best respond to the coal exploration plans.
Innes Larkin said “the diversity and number of people attending the meeting today, and the level of preparation most of them went to, in undertaking their own research on Carabella Resources and State Government legislation, shows how seriously this threat is being taken by the community”.
Community members from across the Scenic Rim were represented, as well as 3 traditional owners from the Ugarapul aboriginal group. Ruth James, a Ugarapul elder, said that “The mountains and valleys of the scenic rim are very significant to our people, for our stories and our connection. We would like to offer whatever support we can to help protect them.”
An initial action plan was distributed as part of the briefing, and this encourages all concerned residents to commence a letter writing campaign to state and federal members of Parliament. Innes Larkin said “there is no better way to gain traction with government than by writing an original heartfelt letter containing all the relevant facts”. Residents were also strongly advised to contribute to The Scenic Rim Community Plan.
The outcome of the meeting was to elect a Committee of six volunteers who now have a mandate to act on behalf of the community. Their first task after is to formalize the committee structure, and to develop an action plan.
This new community action group and residents of the Scenic Rim hope to make mining companies and the State government come to its senses before irrevocable damage to the environment is done.
If you want to support this resident action group contact
MT BARNEY LODGE COUNTRY RETREAT
Ph: (07) 5544 3233 Fax: (07) 5544 3233
Members of new cabinet that will impact / influence this unfortunate clash of the titans in Queensland's economy include:
Jan Jarratt is the newly appointed minister with this portfolioTourism, Manufacturing and Small Business
Stirling Hinchliffe is the newly appointed minister with this portfolio Employment, Skills and Mining
Paul Lucas is the newly appointed minister with this portfolio Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Local Government and Special Minister of State
All ministers are listed at http://qld.psnews.com.au/QLD%20Ministry.pdf
Please consider providing them with comment and feedback on this situation. We do not have to wait for an invitation. Contact especially YOUR STATE MEMBER - especilly shadow ministers since sitting cabinet members are unlikely to have this this situation occurring in their electorates?!?