Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Toowoomba calls for moratorium on coal seam gas approvals

Toowoomba Regional Council yesterday voted unanimously to ask the State Government for a moratorium to be placed on new coal seam gas approvals within its local government area.

Councillors have resolved to write a submission to the Queensland State Government asking for ongoing and meaningful engagement with landholders regarding Coal Seam Gas extraction across the region.

The Queensland State Government Department of Resources has a paper open for consultation until 8 December, 2023, with TRC resolving at yesterday’s Ordinary Meeting to make a submission.

Mayor, Geoff McDonald said Council had adopted its position after engaging with local landholders.

“At Council’s recent Cecil Plains Community Barbecue and Engagement event, those Councillors present received a briefing from a group of concerned landholders about the development of CSG projects in the area, particularly over priority agricultural land,” the Mayor said.

“The group were invited to present as a deputation to Council, and this occurred at the Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 24 October, 2023.

“The motions passed at yesterday’s Ordinary Meeting are a direct response to the information presented at the deputation, and aligns with ‘Council’s Corporate Plan 2024-2029’, specifically ‘Goal 2 – Place’, ‘We value our environments, our natural assets, and our rich agricultural land‘.”

The Council passed two separate resolutions at yesterday’s Ordinary Meeting:

That Council:

Provide a submission in response to the Queensland Department of Resources “Consultation Paper – Coexistence institutions and CSG-induced subsidence management framework” that states:

  1. Council values our environments, our natural assets, and our rich agricultural land.
  2. Council expresses the following expectations in our Region:

i.              That there will continue to be ongoing and meaningful engagement with landholders and consideration of their concerns.

ii.             That priority agricultural land is not negatively affected as a result of CSG extraction.

iii.            That research-based decisions are made in regard to the potential subsidence issues caused by CSG extraction.

iv.           That concerns about the potential negative impact on the Condamine Alluvium will be considered and mitigated.

And:

That Council call for a moratorium on approving new CSG activities in Toowoomba Regional Council area to allow time for the critical consideration of Council’s submission to the Queensland Department of Resources “Consultation Paper – Coexistence institutions and CSG-induced subsidence management framework”.

“Council encourages the State Government to properly take into consideration submissions from landholders,” said Mayor McDonald.

“This includes landholder views of the impacts of CSG-subsidence to their livelihoods, the sustainability of farming practices on their lands, and their perception of suitable and appropriate remedies and regulatory mechanisms.”

Council has until 8 December, 2023 to finalise its submission.

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