Companies on the hunt for coal in Cooran
COAL exploration permits granted for an area in Cooran have an environmental group frightened for the future of the picturesque country town.
Helen Moffitt, of Cooran Earth Rights, has organised an information session on October 28 about the potential mining of coal in her and the community's "backyard”.
The designated exploration areas include a section of land in National Park, as well as state forests and private property.
"This is our land, this concerns us. It's not right,” Ms Moffitt said.
"It's frightening across the board for all of us. Why are we being kept in the dark?”
Ms Moffitt said the land near Arthys Rd, Cooran, has been regenerating for nearly two decades to its former state before deforestation.
"At the turn of the century they did a lot of deforest- ation through there to form agricultural land for the timber,” Ms Moffitt said.
"It's settling down and, this day and age, people are starting to respect it.
"A lot of planting has gone on there about 18 years ago to re-establish what was there originally.
"The process to undo all that would be hideous.”
Ms Moffitt learnt of the exploration permits after attending a coal mining information session in Cooran earlier this year.
She said she and other concerned locals formed a group to help inform the community about future threats to environmental sustainability.
"We continue to work towards enlightening the community,” Ms Moffitt said.
"That's really at the forefront for me, to get people to see what exactly what's going on.
"We're not against mining, we're against inappropriate mining - we certainly don't need it in these areas.
"It's all about empowering people with knowledge about what can and can't be done.”
The exploration permits for companies Coal Stream and Bauple Exploration were approved in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mining said the companies are unlikely to release information about how much exploration had been undertaken or if coal had been found.
The information session will screen documentary Undermining Australia and present speakers at 2pm on Saturday, October 28 at the Cooran School of Arts Hall.