The efforts of the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP to rush this bill through have thankfully been halted. Farmers are not disputing the fact the state owns the mineral resource. The current Mining Act gives protection to arable land, including orchards and vineyards. If an exploration company wishes to drill exploratory holes, the landholders have to sign a waiver of exemption to give them access to the land.
The sticking point for farmers in this new Bill is giving much more power to exploration companies than they already had.
If a farmer doesn’t want drilling on their land they then have to engage a lawyer and go to court. Thus far the exploration companies haven’t lost a case.
There is said to be 100-year supply of copper in the north of South Australia; farmers question the wisdom of destroying our precious food land for short-term monetary gain.
To say that mining and food production can coexist in the same area is disingenuous.
Bill Moloney, Arthurton