Minister stops Moranbah development

MINERAL development licences issued on coal deposits near Moranbah in central Queensland will be protected after local government and planning minister Desley Boyle yesterday stopped a proposed residential development.
Minister stops Moranbah development Minister stops Moranbah development Minister stops Moranbah development Minister stops Moranbah development Minister stops Moranbah development

Queensland minister for environment, local government,planning and women, Desley Boyle

Angie Tomlinson

In August, Boyle used her reserve powers to call-in the planning decision by the Belyando Shire Council. The Council had approved a development application to turn 63 hectares of rural land into 350 residential lots.

"The land contains valuable coal deposits. A Mineral Development Licence had been issued in 1998 to explore these deposits and this should have been taken into account by the council when considering the application before it,” Boyle said.

She said the refused subdivision would not leave Moranbah with a shortage of housing sites.

As part of the decision yesterday, the State Government will establish a management group involving the Belyando Shire Council and mining companies to manage growth and new infrastructure through a 30-year master plan for Moranbah.

The group will report to the Government's Coal Industry Taskforce.

"The Taskforce will not only provide support to help resolve the issues in Moranbah but will also establish benchmarks for other coal towns which may be affected by similar growth, particularly towns in the Bowen Basin,” Boyle said.

"The completion of a Master Plan is supported by the State Government, by mining companies, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), and Anglo Coal, by the Belyando Shire Council and by the community.

"With the expansive growth of the coal industry in Queensland expected to last a number of years, the Moranbah Growth Management Group will ensure urban growth and employment expansion will not sterilise resources and will provide community infrastructure and services for current and future generations of residents.”

Boyle said there was concern among the town’s residents that an opencut mine could be developed on the leases close to town. Residents were concerned with dust, noise, wash plants and stockpiles from the mine.

Boyle said she expected the formation of the management group would effectively manage the issues and Environmental Impact Assessments would be heavily conditioned to adequately deal with the community's concerns.