A prominent farmland protection group says a new mining proposal will test the level of Government commitment to Australian-first legislation designed to protect the best agricultural land from mining impacts.
The Queensland Government has developed pioneering legislation to protect high-value agricultural land in the State from activities which could pose a threat to its productivity, including mining.
While the legislation has not yet been introduced to parliament, the Queensland Government gave an assurance in June that its effect would apply to all mining applications that had not yet progressed to advanced approval stages by that month.
Friends of Felton group spokesman Rob McCreath says a new application by a Chinese state-owned company for a coal exploration permit over an area of the Condamine River floodplain between Felton South and Tummaville on the inner Darling Downs has emerged as a challenge for the State Government's commitment.
Shenhuo International Group Pty Ltd has applied for the permit EPC 2706 covering around 5000ha of deep rich alluvial black soil, including stretches of the Condamine River and Thanes Creek.
"The land in question is undeniably strategic cropping land, while the rivers and creeks are priceless waterways," Mr McCreath said.
"This is clearly an unsuitable place for coal mining.
"Mines Minister Stirling Hinchliffe must show that the Queensland Government is genuine in its undertaking to protect the State’s best cropping land by rejecting this permit application immediately."
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