Residents to lock out miners
RESIDENTS of Avondale and Winfield are vowing to protect their properties from coal and gas mining.
Coal Free Wide Bay Burnett and Beyond has organised a ceremony at Tegege Hall on Saturday afternoon to present a declaration to Bundaberg Regional Council that residents will not allow mining on their land.
Spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said the two communities realised their land and homes were under threat of unconventional gas and coal mining operations.
"After studying information available from the Queensland Mines department, it became clear that they would need to take action to protect their water, land, property values, lifestyle and communities," she said.
Ms Perrin said the organisation carried out a survey in the communities asking residents if they wanted their road to be coal mine and gasfield free.
Every resident in Winfield and 200 residents in Avondale participated in the survey.
She said 89.2% of Winfield residents voted yes, as did 72% of Avondale respondents.
Ms Perrin said the residents had seen what had happened in other parts of the state.
"They don't want that to happen in their part of Queensland," she said.
"Other communities in the area and the rest of Queensland are now coming aboard and adopting the same democratic process."
Ms Perrin said it had been devastating to witness what had happened.
She said water had been contaminated, bushland destroyed, people were forced to leave their homes and children developed serious illness as a result of living near coal seam gas fields.
"We do not want the same thing to happen here," she said.
"We treasure our community and the natural values of Wide Bay Burnett.
"They must be protected from short term and highly invasive coal and gas mining operations."
The declaration ceremony will be held at 3pm.