Bacchus Marsh residents are furious over plans for up to 15 sites in the area to be dug up in the search for brown coal.
The coaling exploration group, Mantle Mining, have been given permission to drill for brown coal in the local area, and while private land owners would be compensated, they seem to have little say on whether or not their properties will be dug up.
Local residents haven’t taken this news lightly though, with protesters chaining themselves to the offices of Mantle's financial backer, Cygnet Capital, in the Melbourne CBD.
Much of the land that Mantle Mining wants to explore, is farm land too, and so interfering with this land could have a massive effect not just on the people who live on the properties, but on the entire community.
Agriculture is a huge part of Bacchus Marsh and the community doesn’t want to lose prime agricultural land or have our local environment destroyed because of any brown coal that could be found underneath.
At a recent meeting with the Department of Primary Industries, local residents were told that at this stage, the work being carried out by Mantle Mining won’t be too intrusive or disruptive to the local community though.
Apparently the mining group only have an exploration licence and not a planning licence which means they can’t currently do anything more than what can be done with hand tools, and if they want to do any more serious digging that they would require further approvals.
Even with just an exploration license though, the fact still remains that locals don’t want local land turned into a coal mine.
What are your thoughts on the issue?