Building the Collaboration
From 2016 a growing number of groups led by the Lock the Gate movement and the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee became increasingly concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed Colton Coal Mine. The proposed mine had managed to evade requirements to undertake a proper Environmental Impact Statement. State and Commonwealth Governments had allowed the proposal to proceed almost unchallenged. This allowed it to slip under the radar. As awareness has grown so has opposition to the mine.
A very active group based in the Noosa area formed the Great Sandy Strait Saviours. They organized a public meeting at Eumundi in August 2017 attended by more than 200 and brought more groups on board. They continue to be very active and organized a very impressive concert at Noosaville in December 2017 that drew in over 1,000.
Because the Colton Coal Mine was proposed for the mainland, the potential impacts weren’t immediately obvious to FIDO. The Watchdog of Fraser Island was late adding its voice of protests. There is now very active collaboration between all groups. Some like the Great Sandy Strait Saviours are having a big impact in rising wider public awareness. Some such as Lock the Gate are building opposition to Colton as a larger part of their national campaign against coal mining generally.
FIDO, the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee and the Greater Mary Association have decided to work on building a case against the mine based on research of potential impacts on Great Sandy Strait.