Residents oppose Felton mine lease renewal by state
FELTON residents are again fighting to protect their prime agricultural land after a mining development lease was renewed in the area.
With the battle to protect the region from Ambre Energy's open cut coal mine in Felton won only years before, president of Friends of Felton Ian Wahn said he would not let this renewal pass quietly.
He is hoping to have the lease revoked, a move that has been granted by state governments in the past.
"The lease is a potential threat and we won't ignore it, we're taking this very seriously," he said.
"Farmers are sick of the uncertainty."
Mr Wahn received a letter last month from Newmont Pacific Energy to inform him the renewal for a five-year extension on the lease was successful.
He said the original lease for the Millmerran Project was granted in April 2001 and renewed in 2014.
The lease remains current until March 31, 2019.
A Friends of Felton meeting was held on Tuesday night with Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton telling residents they could fight to have the lease revoked.
"What I'm appalled at is that the state government already made the decision that the Ambre Energy project was unsuited to the area and I would have thought the next logical step would be to relinquish other titles in the area altogether," he said.
Mr Hutton said Lock the Gate would stand alongside Friends of Felton to oppose the mining lease.
Mr Wahn said he would write to the state minister to lobby to have the lease revoked.
The town annually proved the value of its prime agricultural land at Felton with the food festival.
This year about 12,000 visitors joined the event.
Newmont Pacific Energy said they did not have plans to construct a mine.
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said the region was about food production and "every square inch" needed to be protected.
Newmont Pacific Energy was contacted for comment.