Picture: Peter BraigThe birthplace of Queensland coalmining has declared it won’t support new mine operations and expansions.
Ipswich City Council has adopted a mining policy that calls on the state government to block new mines and expansions as well as coal seam gas operations.
Councillors say there’s no long-term future for mining in the area because of urban growth and environmental concerns.
Ipswich was built on mining and Queensland’s first mine began operations there in 1843.
The Redbank mine was also home to the state’s first strike, with disgruntled miners stopping work over a pay rise in 1861.
Now Ipswich, about 40km west of Brisbane, is a thriving urban centre with an estimated 190,000 residents.Councillor Paul Tully says the city’s growing population, which is expected to double in 20 years, is a major reason why the council can no longer support mining.
‘‘We just think that coalmining and coal seam gas mining are inconsistent with urban areas and adjacent to urban areas,’’ Mr Tully told AAP.
‘‘The only area with a lot of land (for residential development) is west of Brisbane and that’s through Ipswich, and out towards Gatton and Toowoomba.’’
The mining industry thrived in Ipswich for about 100 years before tapering off in the 1980s.
It was around this time that housing estates in Ipswich became attractive as real estate prices in Brisbane soared.
The Jeebropilly Mine, near Rosewood, is the only one currently operating in the city.Mr Tully said council had made its stance on coalmining clear, but it was the state that assessed mining applications.
‘‘At the end of the day we have very little control,’’ he said.
The council said it would work in partnership with the Queensland government and mining companies to ‘‘extinguish’’ coalmining tenures where possible.
It has also promised to facilitate the transition of those involved in mining and will support the rehabilitation of mined land.
‘‘In relation to any future for coal seam gas, the policy identifies the largely untested nature of coal seam gas extraction and impacts on the environment,’’ Mr Tully said.