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Unlocking land value in art

LOCK THE GATE: Kingaroy farmer Damien O'Sullivan opens his property up to photographers.
LOCK THE GATE: Kingaroy farmer Damien O'Sullivan opens his property up to photographers. John Dalton

FOR Kingaroy beef farmer Damien O'Sullivan, unlocking his farm for photographers and artists was a no-brainer.

Mr O'Sullivan's property would take in large parts of the proposed Kingaroy coal mine.

"Where we live at the house, we've been there for 11 years, though we have had some other parts of the property for 18 years,” Mr O'Sullivan said.

"We'd just have to pack up and move if the mine goes ahead.

"But the people who will be most affected will be the people in Kingaroy and neighbouring properties not actually in the mine area, with all the implications for dust, noise and light pollution.”

Mr O'Sullivan said he was "totally sick” of the back and forth on whether a coal mine would go ahead or not.

"It is stressful, with the four different mine proposals in 10 years,” he said.

"I just don't think the mine is viable under any circumstances, because of where it is located and what's got to happen.

"I think we've got to the stage where someone has got to make a decision and say this isn't a suitable location for a mine and draw a line in the sand.”

Mr O'Sullivan let a group of about 30 photographers and artists onto his land for the 385 Alive art competition open day last Sunday.

"It was a pretty good opportunity to showcase the local area to show people how productive the land is and how it has been in the past and how productive it can be in the future,” he said.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesman John Dalton was one of the organisers of the event.

"Everyone got right into the spirit of it,” he said.

"The landholders, they were fantastic. They organised their places so there was really something great to photograph.

"Four people came up from Brisbane for it and there were people from all the different photographic clubs.”

Photographs and artwork from the event will be on display at a special art show on October 1.

Mr Dalton said more details on the show would be announced soon.

Peanut farmer Audrey Larsen, who runs her property with husband John, says she opens her gate so people can "see the place before the mine destroys it”.

"We don't want to see peanuts replaced with a mine,” she said.

"They want some of our land for the mine.

"We're not sure about how much they want, but we aren't very happy about it.”

In a statement to the ASX in July, Moreton Resources said it was pushing ahead to have the environmental impact statement for the mine completed by the end of the year. The EIS will implement data across a 10-year period.

The company had contracted Assured Measuring Group to undertake baseline air quality and noise monitoring studies for that EIS.

"MRV Tarong Basin Coal believe this will be one of the most comprehensive EIS applications seen by the relevant departments or the public, given the historic data, be it water, wind or other key aspects that are in abundance at the South Burnett Coal Projects area of influence,” the company said.

"(The EIS will detail) the factual outcomes and impacts of such a proposed operation and the quantum of positive benefits that will be felt through the community as we continue to advance our project.”

Topics:  kingaroy coal mine kingaroy concerned citizens group moreton resources

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