The Mirror News

Council urged to reject coal exploration licence at Mirboo North

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Councillor David Lewis will move a motion at today’s council meeting calling for the council to lodge a written objection to the granting of a mining exploration licence at Mirboo North.

His action comes in the wake of a meeting at Mirboo North last Sunday which attracted 200 people concerned about Mantle Mining’s application for a coal exploration licence over 25 square kilometres of land, mainly around the Boolarra/Mirboo North Road. The application was lodged on May 31 and advertised in the Mirboo North Times on July 18.

Cr Lewis said that currently there are no mining exploration licences covering the Mirboo North township. However, coal and coal seam gas exploration licences have already been granted to Mantle Mining in adjacent agricultural areas.

He added: “This new application nominates coal exploration, but such a nomination does not affect the applicant’s other mineral rights. There is every probability that coal exploration will concurrently yield information on coal seam gas. The Council has previously resolved to call for a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration.”

Meanwhile, a strong campaign against coal seam gas exploration and/or mining continues across South Gippsland. The Foster Community Association is among groups opposed to mining the district’s prime agricultural land. Members had a stall at last Saturday’s Prom Country Farmers’ Market in Foster and reported great interest from passersby keen to know more about the issue. They sold out of ‘Lock the Gate’ signs. They have been invited to have a stand at the next farmers’ market at Koonwarra and will shortly be presenting their concerns about coal seam gas to local service clubs including Foster Rotary and Toora Lions.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the FCA will hold a lunchtime information session, including a Powerpoint presentation, on coal seam gas at Foster Community House. The meeting will run from 12.45 to 1.15pm and anyone is welcome to attend. BYO lunch, but tea/coffee will be provided.

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