APEC Coal looks to drill in Goomburra

MULTIPLE residents in the Goomburra Valley area have been issued with letters from coal mining company APEC Coal PTY LTD, stating a Notice of Entry.

A letter obtained by the Daily News - which includes a tenement map, APEC Coal license documents, an EA Environmental Permit, a Land Access Code and a Notice of Entry - states the company's desire to commence drilling on the Southern Downs.

"APEC Coal is the holder of a granted Coal Exploration Permit (EPC 1506) which covers several pastoral properties located east of the Queensland town of Allora in south east Queensland," the letter read.

"This letter and attached documents constitute our notice of proposed preliminary activities on your property

"This will include a general discussion of our proposed activities in addition to our desire to commence negotiations of a compensation agreement for the possible drilling (advanced activity) of one 300m drill hole.

"The exact nature of the drilling operation will be discussed at our initial meeting and will be no different to the drilling of a water bore, with the hole filled and capped at the end of drilling and all rubbish removed.

"At all times APEC Coal will act in a respectful and courteous manner and be mindful of your busy work schedule."

While it is unknown when any drilling could begin, it is believed a geologist for APEC Coal has been in the Goomburra and Allora areas inspecting the region.

A geologist from the company has also made himself available to speak with concerned potentially affected residents.

Southern Downs residents were largely united in their stand against the project, with the Southern Downs Protection Group looking to aid residents.

"We were formed three years ago to protect residents in the Southern Downs from this kind of occurrence," Southern Downs Protection Group secretary Marianne Irvine said.

"I was contacted by a Goomburra Valley resident (yesterday) who has received a letter of notice of entry.

"We will move to have a meeting as soon as possible with the community.

"In the meantime, the main thing we want to get across is for people to not feel like they have to be bullied into letting these companies onto their property."

Mrs Irvine said people had the right to defend their property.

"These companies can bedazzle people with their words but they do not have the right to just come in," she said.

"People have successfully defended their properties in the past."

Mrs Irvine said there could be a range of consequences for residents.

"I don't doubt it would cause horrendous neighbourhood clashes," Mrs Irvine said.

"I think the whole area would be tainted.

"Property values, selling a house and insurance are all things that would alter.

"There are so many implications."

Goomburra Valley resident Norm Tranberg said he was concerned about his cattle stud if the drilling went ahead.

"I sell bulls to central Queensland and I believe it (coal mining) would have a negative affect," Mr Tranberg said.

"Even just whether they would need to access paddocks and the heavy vehicles they use would be a concern."

Mr Tranberg, who lives just over 5km off the New England Highway, said he was also concerned about the quality of water if the drilling went ahead.

"The depth for our bore is 60m," he said.

"I'm concerned about the adverse effect it could have on our water supply.

"If it got into our water supply it would be catastrophic.

"I just don't think the area in general is a good place for drilling."

Mrs Irvine said residents interested in attending Southern Downs Protection Group meetings could contact her on 4667 4700.

A representative for APEC Coal said the company was unable to respond in the timeframe given yesterday but would prepare a response to questions for the Warwick Daily News in the near future.

Opinions were split online, with many making points for and against the project.

To have your say and read all the reaction, head to facebook.com/warwickdailynews

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