Andrew Cripps.
Andrew Cripps.

Goomboorian fears on mines

PEOPLE concerned about proposed changes to the Mines Act, claimed to threaten landholder rights in many cases, have only until Wednesday to make their concerns known.

Conservationists claim proposed legal changes will remove the public's right to object to proposed mining in a majority of cases involving small mining operations.

"This Bill proposes to significantly reduce legal rights for landholders and the general community," according to Vicki Perrin, of the Coal Free Wide Bay Burnett group.

She says reassuring statements made by Mines Minister Andrew Cripps are contradicted by his own department's issues paper which calls for public submissions by Wednesday.

Goomboorian's Standown Park caravan park owners, Rod and Pam Elkington, say they are concerned about the changes, because of coal exploration and officially denied coal seam gas exploration interest in their area.

They say the legislative changes were introduced to Queensland Parliament on June 5 as part of a larger "Governing for Growth" initiative.

They are concerned that the changes may remove public notification and community rights to object to 90% of proposed mines.

The current law provides for public notification of all proposed mines and any person or group is entitled to object to the proposed mine and have the objection heard in open court.

Mr Cripps said, "the Bill is about getting the balance between resource development, landholder rights and environmental protection rights."

It would remove "unnecessary regulatory burden and duplication (on small mines)," he said.

Ms Perrin says 90% of mines would be exempt.