NOT HERE: Southern Downs Protection Group members Marianne Irvine, Dawn Heath, Lynda Hemmings and Sarah Moles made their message loud and clear on Wednesday night. More than 100 people attended the meeting.
NOT HERE: Southern Downs Protection Group members Marianne Irvine, Dawn Heath, Lynda Hemmings and Sarah Moles made their message loud and clear on Wednesday night. More than 100 people attended the meeting. Michael Cormack

Stick together, Lock the Gate: McCreath

ROB McCreath had one piece of advice for residents of Goomburra and surrounding areas on Wednesday night: "you must stick together".

Mr McCreath was part of Friends of Felton, the group that successfully defended their land from Ambre Energy Limited two years ago.

"You can't go off on your own little tracks," Mr McCreath told the residents.

"So many parts of the law are past the common man's ability.

"The most important thing is to get everyone together and fight together."

The community meeting was called to discuss a course of action for residents, after many in the area received letters from APEC Coal regarding their intention to begin drilling in the area.

Southern Downs Protection Group chairperson Sarah Moles said she was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.

"It was a great turnout - we're thrilled," Ms Moles said.

"It was basically an exchange of information but it was good to meet some of the landholders and get a sense of how they are feeling.

"We wanted to inform the residents of the legal playing field and it was terrific to have Rob here to discuss his own experiences."

Ms Moles said residents resolved to carry out further actions following the meeting.

"There was a motion passed to write to (Southern Downs) council, in regards to APEC Coal drilling where easements on properties are if the landholders say no," she said.

"We'll have a meeting in Allora in the near future, hopefully with some more people coming along.

"I didn't see a single hand go up in favour of any drilling (on Wednesday night)."

Councillor Jamie Mackenzie, who attended the meeting, said a coal mine made no sense in the region.

"Councillors were only briefed a few days ago on this manner," Cr Mackenzie said.

"But alarm bells were ringing about the potential impacts on slippage, amenity, the road network, underground water supplies and on the environment.

"Goomburra is prime tourist country, a great place to live and has important agricultural qualities so I am not sure how a coal mine can be compatible.

"It is highlighted that council does not approve coal mines - that is a State Government responsibility.

"But council has a role in this matter in permitting the use of the roads, as a stakeholder in the State Government's regional plan and possibly as an advocate for the community."



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