Fears Coalbank drilling may impact Somerset property prices
AS Coalbank moves to begin exploratory coal drilling in the next week in the Somerset a leading Esk real estate agent has voiced concerns about how the activity will impact property prices.
Coalbank CEO Andrew Fogg and COO Bruce Patrick delivered a presentation to a Somerset Regional Council meeting on Wednesday to explain the company's coal exploration plans for five separate sites between Esk and Toogoolawah.
Mr Patrick said at the meeting that work on the project could start next week.
But Esk real estate agent Helen Granzien said there were genuine concerns for property owners about the impact future coal mining could have.
"We have a number of residents concerned about whether the prices are going to decrease or if it will be good for the valley," she said.
"But the majority of the people are concerned that property prices are going to decrease."
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She said she hoped a public meeting in Toogoolawah on Monday would "shed some light" on the issue.
Queensland-based company Coalbank holds Exploration Permit for Coal (EPC) 2239 under the Mineral Resources Act.
Concerns were raised this week in the QT from a variety of sources about the impact the company's plans would have on water catchment and on farming land.
But Coalbank explained at the Somerset meeting that the exploration planned uses essentially the same drilling rigs used by landholders for drilling water bores, is low impact and is conducted within the strict requirements of the Mineral Resources Act.
"Minimisation of impacts from exploration activities through interaction with landholders is a key component of Coalbank's approach," Mr Patrick said.
He said the company had no plans to look for coal seam gas.