NOOSA Greens spokesman Jim McDonald fears the mining juggernaut that threatens to rip through Queensland could already be closer to Noosa than we think.
And Mr McDonald believes the threat of exploratory drilling and any subsequent extraction could be a bigger threat to local lifestyle and tourism than the now-defunct Traveston Crossing dam.
Mr McDonald has sent off a request to the Department of Environment and Resource Management as to what coal or mineral exploration permits on the Sunshine Coast that have been issued for the region.
His target zone form information covers Eerwah Vale, Black Mountain, Eumundi, Belli, Verrierdale, Yandina, Pomona, Cooran, Cooroy districts and the Blackall Ranges.
This come after suspicions have been raised that mining exploration permits may exist over properties in the Noosa hinterland – the only thing keeping the lid on this being land owners fears for property values.
And in his written request to DERM, Mr McDonald said:
“I am aware of one large exploration permit near Kenilworth, which I understand is a mineral permit and gold is the principal target.
“I am aware that there is already drilling by Tiaro Coal Limited on most of the major tributaries of the Mary River, including Coondoo Creek at Wolvi, which flows into Tinana Creek.
“Are there any current coal or mineral exploration permit applications in the Sunshine Coast region awaiting approval?
“Have any exploration surveys been carried out, such as aerial magnetic surveys, in the Sunshine Coast region?
“Has there been any exploratory drilling on or near the Sunshine Coast Region apart from Tiaro Coal’s drilling on Coondoo Creek?”
Mr McDonald told the Noosa News this week that a mining exploration permit was issued in 2009 to Bluekebble Pty Ltd for 101 square kilometres, 3 km from the Kenilworth township.
“Noosa and the Sunshine Coast has to realise that it is not exempt from the sort of exploration that is going on at Wolvi and the worse threat could not be from coal, but coal seam gas extraction,” he said.