Research to look at landowners' gas and mining rights

RESEARCH to be done by a Brisbane university and Queensland's Environmental Defenders' Office will attempt to find out if land-owners are being bamboozled on mining matters.

Queensland University of Technology is supplying students across a number of disciplines to contact up to 70 landholders.

They will be quizzed on whether they know about, understand and feel involved when mining and gas projects are proposed.

The plan to amass this data comes as the EDO prepares to back environmental advocates against the sprawling Alpha project planned by GVK Hancock Coal.

Earlier this week, the joint venture told national media that its Alpha mine would be delayed from 2016 to 2017, thanks to legal action.

GVK Hancock managing director Paul Mulder described the EDO's involvement as "pretty bizarre", considering the EDO was funded by the Federal Government.

The Alpha project was given federal approval in late August last year.

Once operational, the $6.4 billion mine project is slated to export up to 32 million tonnes of coal per year through Abbot Point coal terminal, its capacity at least double that of most mines in the Bowen Basin.

The Coast and Country Association of Queensland, an environmental group challenging the project's government approvals, objects to the impact the multi-billion project will have on groundwater, the economy and climate change.

The Mackay Conservation Group and four other parties are also fighting GVK, with a variety of claims.

All parties are pushing to have GVK Hancock's approvals revoked.

GVK Hancock is also developing a second mega-mine in the Galilee, the Kevin's Corner project to Alpha's north.

QUT academic Evan Hamman said as part of its "access to mining information" research project, land-owners will be telephoned by students later this month, with preliminary feedback put together by October.

In November, the students will help compile a report which may then be presented to the Queensland Government for consideration.

The process will be anonymous.

Those who would like to contribute their own experiences can also email the project via edoqld@edo.org.au.



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