Council backs coal petition

Latrobe City Council has shown its support to a grassroots petition to ban coal mining in the Mirboo North region.

At its ordinary meeting on Monday, councillors agreed to write to Industry, Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to increase community engagement and consultation on coal mining and exploration.

It follows the State Government issuing four exploration licences to Mantle Mining in Gippsland for the purpose of searching for brown and black coal with “low impact” exploration techniques.

The licences cover about 500 square kilometres across the Latrobe Valley and South Gippsland, including Mirboo North, Callignee, Jeeralang and Carrajung.

Councillor Darrell White said council did not want to see Mantle Mining having any involvement going forward.

“The petition calls for the licence to be rescinded. The best we can do is advocate on behalf of our community and that is what this aims to do,” Cr White said.

The council tabled the 2039-signature petition to ‘refuse to allow exploration or mining for coal in an area which is agricultural and has high tourism potential’ back in February.