Shale oil pollutes Airlie Beach

Shale oil mining proposed for Proserpine has already provoked a protest by Save Our Foreshore. Thousands of people at Airlie Beach markets have already signed petitions against allowing shale oil mining in the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef marine park.

Oil Shale Mining At Proserpine

Proposal to mine Whitsunday Coast airport for oil shale, reported in the Townsville Bulletin. Exploration started by Queensland Energy Resources Ltd, a USA controlled company who took over the ill fated Gladstone resources of Southern Pacific Petroleum. The largest oil shale deposit in Queensland is located at Condor near Proserpine, with an estimated yield of 9.65 billion barrels. Whitsunday Times reports former Mayor Mario Demartini says the only reason to move the airport would be because of oil shale mining. Save Our Foreshore have reported to Whitsunday Times that 600 sign petition against oil shale, and this number has now increased to thousands.

A well attended protest meeting at Airlie Beach in July brought widespread newspaper and TV publicity. Spokesman Simon Roz from Greenpeace was there, with their largest vessel Esperanza, attended by a reported 70 local protest boats. Suzette Pelt was Save Our Foreshore spokesperson. Speakers included Patricia Julian of Mackay Conservation Group, Charlie Veron marine scientist, Irene Butterworth Ngaro elder, Targinnie resident Peter Harland reported the ill health in his community from five futile years of attempts at shale oil mining near Gladstone. Three hundred Targinnie residents had their health affected before Southern Pacific Petroleum shale oil experiments there were closed in 2004. Even children were protesting, with Robert Southern of Cannonvale, Ryan Barr of Proserpine, and Taylor Fontes and Cian Lynch of Jubilee Pocket all in costume.

Mining for oil shale is not permitted in the USA.

Subsequent to all these protests, State Parliament announced a 20 year moratorium on shale oil mining in Queensland. This is not a permanent solution. It merely defers the issue past the next election. Legislation for the moratorium was passed by State Parliament in late October 2008.