Ban is cold comfort, says AgForce

QUEENSLAND’S peak broadacre farm group AgForce says the State Government’s ban on mining around some Queensland towns is cold comfort for farmers and small town residents.

The State Government yesterday announced it will prohibit exploration leases and mining within a two-kilometre radius of towns with populations of more than 1000 people.

AgForce CEO Robert Walker said the move sends a message that private landowners and remote communities will be treated differently.

"It seems it is OK to have an exclusion zone of two kilometres around a town, but a farmer can have a coal seam gas well 100 metres from his front door - we don’t believe that is fair,” Mr Walker said.

"The Government needs to deal with all parts of the economy and all parts of the community on a level playing field.”

Mr Walker said AgForce is concerned there was no consultation with stakeholders prior to the Premier’s announcement and it does little to inject much-needed equity into this debate.

"The State Government obviously has concerns about mining close to townships, but it shouldn’t matter whether there are five people living in a township or five people living in a homestead - these same exclusion zones should apply,” Mr Walker said.

AgForce is seeking urgent meetings with the State Government on this issue, and awaits further clarity from the LNP on its’ policy to protect strategic cropping land.

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