Why has environmental regulation never been enforced on Queensland mine owners? Why do abandoned mines litter our state? Why are mining companies being allowed to destroy entire towns, vital water resources and prime farmland?
In this eye-opening – at times bone chilling – history of mining in Queensland, lifelong activist, Drew Hutton, uncovers the shocking truth behind this increasingly domineering industry from its onset in the late 1880s to the present day.
Over the last 60 years, governments of all persuasions have – one after the other – allowed the mining industry in Queensland to get away with breaches of their environmental conditions and to adopt a minimalist approach to the environmental management of their sites. The liability resulting from these actions amounts to billions of dollars. Queensland taxpayers, and soon their children and grandchildren, are being left to clean up all the poorly rehabilitated, abandoned and, at times, toxic mine sites.
Today’s mining giants are impacting on the Queensland environment far more than is admitted. Mining – particularly of the open cut coal mine and coal seam gas variety – is no longer hidden away in the outback. It is in backyards, within a stone’s throw of town and city centres and devours large swathes of prime farming land. The ramifications of this invasive and heavily polluting enterprise are devastating to the natural environment, human health, communities and yes, even our long term economy.
Since 2010 Drew Hutton has visited numerous communities in New South Wales, Queensland and the United States, talking to scientists, farmers and environmentalists, mobilising them (yes, together!) into groups of efficient and effective peaceful campaigners – Lock the Gate – willing to stand up to bullying of the gargantuan gluttonous dirty industries.