Cr Brooke Leo and Jenny Reagan discuss the ongoing problems associated with the blast damage to Gibihi Road .  Photo Claudia Stephenson / Central Telegraph
Cr Brooke Leo and Jenny Reagan discuss the ongoing problems associated with the blast damage to Gibihi Road . Photo Claudia Stephenson / Central Telegraph Claudia Stephenson

Moura won't cave in to mining giant

MOURA woman Brooke Leo is more than passionate about her hometown of Moura.

It's part of the reason she ran for Division Five Councillor in the 2016 Banana Shire Council elections. And she won.

Now Mrs Leo is fighting for repair work to the Gibihi Rd after damage caused by an Anglo American mine blast in November.

"Gibihi Road reserve and stock route is 200m wide," she said. "I am aware of no approval that exists that has given you permission to access that road reserve for your mining activities.

"You have been encroaching on that 200m wide reserve for years.

"Sheer arrogance and lack of respect for this community has seen you using it for your infrastructure - haul roads, pipes, lay-down areas, cables, dewatering ponds and mining pits. All on our public infrastructure.

"The logical train of thought then would be, that had you observed the 200m wide reserve, arguably we would not be in this situation.

"Your blasting exclusion zone should have been way out of that reserve and your blasting technique should have been good enough to not damage our critical public infrastructure.

"Because when it all comes down, that's what you've done.

"You've blown up critical community infrastructure. And there is no talk tonight of you compensating this community for destroying our infrastructure.

"Our ratepayers have forked out dollars for years, to provide us all with a network of roads that service our community"

"And not only is there no talk of compensation, but you are also telling us that you won't reinstate it.

"I do not believe for one second that you cannot safely reinstate that road.

"All the excuses, all the technical data and all the pretty pictures just scream one thing. You want the shiny black stuff underneath.

"We know our area - sometimes better than you. We know there is coal not yet mined there. We know you already have plans to redivert Kianga creek and push west to get at the coal in that area.

"And while I respect that you are now a ratepayer in this shire - and while I respect that some of the people you employ still live locally - I would also expect that you cannot operate at the expense of our livelihoods, our businesses, our safety, or by destroying the road networks that keep our community together.

"You have done the wrong thing.

"And as long as I am on this Council, and as long as I represent my community that voted for me to represent them, I will never vote to allow you to close that road reserve."

Anglo American's Metallurgical Coal CEO David Diamond provided an update on Dawson mine road access issues.

"We realise the closure of Gibihi Road has caused significant frustration to the community; restoring safe public access is an absolute priority for us," Mr Diamond said.

"Given the area's current instability, safety for all road users cannot be guaranteed, therefore re-opening Gibihi Road is not a viable option.

"Anglo American has engaged a design engineer, Hatch, to complete a traffic study and undertake further work on detailed design options. Further details and information will be shared in the coming weeks.

"To understand the full range of impacts of the road closure, Anglo American has appointed Ernst & Young, to conduct a social impact study.

"Ernst & Young will consult and seek feedback from the community on behalf of Anglo American."

Interested parties may pre-register for consultation sessions at: dawson.