Southern Downs Protection Group members and residents Sarah Moles, Duncan Brunet, Rowena and Eliza Geraghty, Marianne Irvine, Taryn Turl and Lachlan Trimingham protest in front of the coal drill rig at Mt Marshall.
Southern Downs Protection Group members and residents Sarah Moles, Duncan Brunet, Rowena and Eliza Geraghty, Marianne Irvine, Taryn Turl and Lachlan Trimingham protest in front of the coal drill rig at Mt Marshall. Jayden Brown

Protesters form blockade at Darling Downs coal drill site

VOCAL opponents of coal drilling on the Southern Downs have sent a clear message to coal mining companies: "we don't want you here".

Activists and residents formed a blockade, preventing machinery from leaving a Mt Marshall property yesterday morning.

Half a dozen protesters parked their cars across two driveways on a Hentschel's Rd property to stop coal drilling rigs from moving on to another site.

The coal drilling rig in action at Mt Marshall. Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News
The coal drilling rig in action at Mt Marshall. Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News Jayden Brown

Among the protesters was Southern Downs Protection Group member Sarah Moles.

Ms Moles said the protest was to make a point that "98% of local residents opposed coal exploration in the area".

"We said we don't want this, we're serious," she said.

"If coal companies go ahead with plans to mine here there will be pushback from the local community."

An APEC Coal spokesman said the protesters unlawfully caused an obstruction and parked a car on a public road.

"APEC have no issues with peaceful, lawful protesting," he said.

"Everyone has the right to express their opinion."

The protesters were asked to move on by police, allowing the coal drilling machinery to move several kilometres down the road to a Mt Marshall-Clintonvale Rd property.

Southern Downs Protection Group members and residents Sarah Moles, Duncan Burnet, Marianne Irvine, Mandy Mutch, Taryn Turl, Fiona Gray, Lachlan Trimingham and Michelle Amos protest in front of the coal drilling rig at Mt Marshall.
Southern Downs Protection Group members and residents Sarah Moles, Duncan Burnet, Marianne Irvine, Mandy Mutch, Taryn Turl, Fiona Gray, Lachlan Trimingham and Michelle Amos protest in front of the coal drilling rig at Mt Marshall. Jayden Brown

At one point as many as a dozen protesters gathered within metres of the drilling.

Mt Marshall resident Michelle Amos could see her home from the drilling site.

She said she didn't realise the drilling was being done so close to her home.

"I thought it was more down the Goomburra Valley," she said.

"It's always been my biggest fear that this would happen and make my property less valuable because I'm close to coal."

"Apart from the environmental concerns, this is such a fertile area for crops and livestock."

Goomburra resident Duncan Burnet said mining exploration leases covered his property.

"Someone could take out a mining lease and nearly mine my whole property," he said. "That's 20 years of my life that could go down the drain."

APEC Coal has confirmed the drilling has just over a week to go, depending on the weather.



Severe weather elements to make a perfect fire storm

Severe weather elements to make a perfect fire storm

Thunder, winds and warm temperatures make a perfect storm for fire

The uplifting takeaway behind store owner's big move

premium_icon The uplifting takeaway behind store owner's big move

Business owner hopes to put pep back in Warwick's step

Police stop 'reckless' driver revving in main street

premium_icon Police stop 'reckless' driver revving in main street

Man gets court date after accelerating through Allora CBD