Dianne Bush on her family farm near Avondale.
Dianne Bush on her family farm near Avondale.

Anti-coal petition collects 5300 signatures

A PETITION seeking the prevention of further coal exploration and development in the Avondale area was tabled in parliament after collecting 5300 signatures.

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett formally tabled the petition in the year's first session of the Queensland parliament on Tuesday.

It objects to mining explorer Fox Resources' application for Mining Development Licence 3040, and urges the State Government to reject it.

Petitioner Dianne Bush started the petition because her family's farm could be impacted.

She was pleased with the number of signatures, but said "the more the merrier".

"It's probably very good for this area," she said.

It was a short time frame, it didn't go on for a long time.

"Some petitions go on for months."

Mrs Bush said she hoped the petition would be enough to stop coal exploration, and a potential mine, from progressing further.

Lock the Gate spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said a coal mine in the area would be "destructive".

She said the State Government also needed to update the regional plan for Wide Bay and, through the update, mark areas dedicated to farming, and not for other industry.

"The regional plan needs to be set in stone to protect agricultural areas," she said.

Mr Bennett said he was against the specific development licence even though he supported coal mining in principle. He said the petition showed the local community was against the mining development proposal, which could compete against farming and environmental interests.

"I vowed it would be over my dead body that I'd let this mine go ahead in our food bowl region, and I stand by that," Mr Bennett said.

"Of course we understand mines play an important role in boosting the economy and creating jobs.

"But a coal mine has no place in the Burnett, particularly in an area that covers valuable cane and macadamia country and happens to be right on the Kolan River, a vital marine breeding ground for the Southern Great Barrier Reef."