Ambre Energy's proposed coal-to-oil project at Felton, a farming community 30 kilometres from Toowoomba, would be a disaster for the local community and environment, according to the newly formed Friends of Felton group.
The first stage of the project will mine 750,000 tonnes per year of coal and convert it into Di-methyl ether — an alternative fuel — with a goal of mining 24 million tonnes per year after three years. It will be larger than any existing Queensland mine.
Friends of Felton argue the project is the wrong response to dwindling fuel supplies, and instead we must start looking at sustainable options. The proposed mine at Felton is simply being built to support Queensland's booming coal industry, the group says.
State Premier Anna Bligh said on July 15 "[the] government is determined that this state should be in a position to take advantage of our abundance of natural resources. That is why our work with industry, searching for clean coal solutions, is so important". There is still no evidence of workable "clean coal" technology, making it a deadly gamble for the sake of mining profits.
Friends of Felton spokesperson Rob McCreath said on August 24: "This project would devastate one of the country's most beautiful and fertile valleys, contaminate underground aquifers, pollute the Murray Darling river system, destroy nationally significant populations of rare and endangered species and produce huge quantities of Greenhouse gases."
For information on the campaign, visit http://www.friendsoffelton.blogspot.com.