Almost 800 SE residents sign anti-mining petition

PEOPLE concerned about the impact of mining on agricultural land tried to let their opinion known to State Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis last week.

Around 35 people from around SA took part in a line-up to hand deliver letters to the minister that referred to petroleum and mineral exploration and projects, with requests that these activities on sustainable farmland be stopped. 

A petition, signed by more than 780 SE residents, was also to be presented to Mr Koutsantonis asking for amendments to applicable acts for the rights of landowners and farmers to say no to exploration or mining projects.

Limestone Coast Protection Alliance member and member for the Round Table for Unconventional Gas Projects in SA Anne Daw said the group went to the State Administration Centre thinking they would be able to deliver the letters and petition to a member of the minister's staff while he was in parliament.

Mrs Daw had notified the minister's office this was going to happen but when they got there they were made to wait by security.

A young staff member came down to pick up a letter from the group.

"I told him 'there is more than one letter'," Mrs Daw said.

"So he said he was just a clerk but he'd go to get someone more came down."

Mrs Daw and the group left the letters with security, and they had been left with a sour taste in their mouths.

"We showed his (minister Koutsantonis') department wouldn't even make the effort to come down and engage with us," she said.

"I wasn't unhappy; it still let us get our message out there."

Mrs Daw had written a letter to the minister herself, speaking out against his calls asking for science and not emotion from those concerned about the projects.

"You ask for scientific facts," she wrote. "Let me explain to you how geology fits into this category. 

"Geology is a broad scientific discipline that studies the Earth, its materials, landforms, processes and history... The lower SE of SA, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and areas of Kangaroo Island are situated on limestone, prone to subsidence and sink holes." 

Mrs Daw warned the minister about the possibility of sink holes being created by mining projects, with mining and drilling listed by a the Pennsylvania State Office in the United States as causing a threat to limestone subsidence and sinkholes. She also warned about seawater intrusion, which had already occurred in the SE with over allocation of bores.

More concerns will be aired at a state rally and protest march on August 2, at 10am, on the steps of Parliament House and a protest march along King William Street with a further rally at Victoria Square at 10.30am. 

The rally and protest march is titled "Save our food bowl, water and tourism" and will bring concerned parties from the city and country together.

Concerns are still being raised over mining projects on agricultural land in the SE, such as Beach Energy's drilling near Penola.

Concerns are still being raised over mining projects on agricultural land in the SE, such as Beach Energy's drilling near Penola.