Community win against coal seam gas bid

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has claimed a victory after company Mecrus Resources Pty Ltd removed coal and coal seam gas from its application for a resource exploration licence in Victoria.

FoE raised the alarm on August 5 about the company's application with the Department of Primary Industries to explore for a range of resources in south-western Victoria, including mineral sands, brown and black coal, coal bed methane (aka coal seam gas), gold, silver, platinum and other minerals.

By August 8, the company had removed coal and coal seam gas from the application.

“This is a wonderful outcome for the local community, the environment, and common sense,” said Cam Walker, campaigns co-ordinator with FoE.

“The time for investment in new coal is long over. The community does not want coal seam gas operations in this state.

“While the company still intends to look for mineral sands, gold, silver, and other resources, and these could all have negative impacts on agricultural land in the west of the state, the withdrawal of coal and coal seam gas is a great outcome.

“Given the impacts of mineral sands operations on water and land, it is hard to imagine the community would support mining for this resource.

“We congratulate the company for listening to the deep community concern that exists around further coal expansion and the threat of coal seam gas and urge them to abandon any plans to look for mineral sands.

“This is a victory for local groups who have mobilised against what is clearly an unsustainable and unpopular proposal.”