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Moreton Resources folds after years of controversy

Business

After years of controversy in regional Queensland, Moreton Resources has folded and announced it was in administration.

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The company, previously known as Cougar Energy, tried to enter the ill-fated underground coal gasification sector, and immediately hit trouble and was fined $75,000 when benzene was in bores around its site near Kingaroy.

UCG was eventually banned in Queensland after a series of contamination events at other sites around Chinchilla involving Linc Energy.

Moreton then tried its hand at developing an open cut coal mine, near Kingaroy, but withdrew its application in April after a 10-year fight with locals.

The company had a handful of subsidiaries involved with projects in silver and coal in the Tarong, Surat and Bowen basins.

Last night the company appointed administrators Grant Sparks and David Orr of Deloitte Financial.

It said the administrators would do an urgent review of the business to determine the future of its assets and advise creditors.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group spokesperson John Dalton said while he was happy the immediate threat of a coal mine was gone, he was concerned because there was nothing stopping another company taking up the Mineral Development License that still looms over the land.

“This company at least won’t be one that will ever mine here, but we’re also mindful the tenement can be acquired by other companies, and that’s why we need strengthened state planning laws,” he said.

“Something needs to be done to prevent other companies doing to us what Moreton has done.

“The sheer volume of public opposition to this mine shows the public expects laws that enshrine common sense in the thoughtful use of our public and natural resources, which in this case is our farmland.”

Lock the Gate Queensland spokesperson Vicki Perrin called on the Palaszczuk Government to urgently make changes to the Regional Planning Interest Act so coal and gas projects could no longer be proposed for prime agricultural land and environmentally significant areas.

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