Plea to remove cattle ‘death traps’
FARMERS in gemstone mining areas are pushing for regulations to be enforced on miners with abandoned sites claiming the life of precious livestock.
At least 100 farmers and property owners say they have lost cattle and their property values have plummeted, peak body representing Queensland producers, AgForce, says.
Producers across the Gemfields, Opal Country and Gold District are calling out for the State Government to enforce its existing regulations for small mine remediation, to stop prospectors leaving deep pits that act as a death trap to cattle.
"The situation these farmers find themselves in - through no fault of their own - is nothing short of a national disgrace, and it is being swept under the carpet by the State Government as a shameful secret," AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said.
"We know of up to 100 producers suffering financial losses which can run into the millions because the Government lacks the will to enforce their own rules and ensure miners remediate the properties they mine.
"The Government has refused repeated requests to fix their own stuff-ups, which, on just one property has already caused the death of around $100,000 worth of livestock and reduced the land value by millions of dollars."
Property owners, who would not be named for fear of retribution from miners said they were being left to deal with dead stock at their own cost and compensation for mining activities was "almost impossible" to get.
A Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) spokesman said the department manages an active abandoned mines program across Queensland with the main priority of managing risks to protect public safety.