An unlikely alliance of protestors led by Bob Katter, Alan Jones and The Greens has upped its campaign against mining companies acquiring valuable farmland by blockading a coal-loading facility in Queensland.
Jones, a passionate opponent of coal seam gas expansion, teamed up yesterday with Katter and the Lock The Gate organiser and co-founder of the Australian Greens, Drew Hutton, to protest the expansion of New Hope Coal in Jondaryan west of Brisbane.
"There is only 4.1% of Queensland which is prime agricultural land," Jones told the assembled crowd according to the Australian Financial Review. "All we are saying in the interest of food security and water is quarantine the 4%."
Katter's fellow Australia Party leader Aidan McLindon said his party would enact a moratorium on coal seam gas drilling and would protect farmland from mining giants.
"This expansion will take up 7000 hectares of prime farming land in the food bowl of Australia, the Darling Downs, and will come within five kilometres of Oakey,'' he told AAP.
New Hope's chief operating officer Bruce Denney said he was disappointed the company's Acland mine was being used as a "political football" during a state election campaign.
"We have had a lot of discussions with the LNP over the past six months," Denney said.
"When they get themselves into power, given they do, and they look at the facts of the matter they will reconsider their position. On a factual basis there is no reason why the mine expansion should not occur."