Mine accused of ‘skipping steps’
A MINING company has launched its own internal investigation into claims it illegally cleared bushland north of Monto for a new access road.
Graziers Rob and Nadia Campbell believe Goondicum Resources did not have approval to bulldoze the land to create the 800m x 50m access road near their property.
“The clearing … was not authorised and we were not consulted and the areas we wanted to see preserved were not preserved,” Mrs Campbell said.
The Goondicum Resources ilmenite mine has a lease on the Campbell’s land north of Monto, and the two graziers believe the mine skipped steps when clearing land.
“The clearing which occurred on our property, Goondicum, was not authorised and we were not consulted,” Mrs Campbell said.
“But (what we believe is) illegal clearing was on a property adjacent to us.”
The duo is not looking for compensation but is calling for mining to be carried out in an environmentally sustainable way.
ROB and Nadia Campbell want a line drawn in the sand.
The Monto graziers believe Goondicum Resources, which operates an ilmenite mine on their grazing property north of Monto, illegally cleared bushland to create an 800m-long road – part of a new 22.5km access route.
Goondicum’s CEO Mark McCauley did not wish to comment when asked by the Times if the company was seeking retrospective approval for the clearing.
However, Mr McCauley said Goondicum Resources were undertaking an investigation into the road construction project.
“We regret any angst caused by activities and will work with all stakeholders to minimise this impact,” he said.
Mrs Campbell said they believed Mr McCauley had told other media the company was in the process of seeking retrospective approval.
“It’s unacceptable if the mine is allowed to get retrospective approval,” she said.
“What’s the point in having an approvals process then?
“We were not opposed to this road; we only wanted it
We were not opposed to this road; we only wanted it done in a way where things could be protected
done in a way where things could be protected.
“There is no way to tell what was there before and that’s the problem. Retrospective approval is not going to be able to account for that.”
The Campbells said they were not out to seek compensation but wanted to see mining companies kept in check by politicians. “There needs to be accountability and no retrospective approval. “They need to restore and rehabilitate anything required. And they have to make sure this can never happen again,” Mrs Campbell said.
“We are not opposed to mining.
“We understand that people want something good to happen for Monto, it just needs to be done in line with approvals.
“If the environmental sustainability of our property is upheld, we can continue this for another 100-200 years,” she said.
“It’s a forward thinking thing. If the government’s not taking steps to preserve properties for the next generation then what will we have?”
The graziers said they loved Monto and tried to support the town by spending locally and employing up to five locals.
They have made inquiries at the Department of the Environment and Bundaberg’s State Land Asset Management following the clearing.