DID you know that Bowen region is the largest supplier of winter vegetables in Australia? The region boasts 10,000 hectares and 3500 employees, with $450 million of produce going out from the area each season. These figures are quoted from Carl Walker, president of the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, "Bowen Independent", 14/08/2012.
Many of these long term jobs, people's livelihoods and fertile lands owned by Australian farmers could be impacted by pollution and/or be compulsory acquired by our own government for the foreign owned coal companies' rail lines within the Galilee Basin State Development Area.
This State Development Area consists of 18,000 sq kms, affects 150 landowner properties along its length and is now the largest land grab in the history of European settlement in this country.
It's the stark reality that many never saw coming here and is one of the very ugly faces of the coal industry established at Abbot Point.
It is well truly time to stop labelling anyone as being "extreme green alarmists" simply because they dare to speak up with their valid concerns and doubts regarding massive coal projects. It's time to listen to what is actually being said, become informed and do something about it. The Bowen region has far too much to lose with coal in so many ways.
Maria Macdonald BOWEN