CQ pioneer coalminer’s granddaughter speaks against mining
A ROCKHAMPTON woman whose grandfather discovered the Blair Athol coal seam and other Central Queensland coalmines has spoken out against the industry.
Bev Fehlhaber, 73, says her family history doesn't prevent her from speaking out against the mining industry, rather underlines her claims.
"I lost a dad and grandad to coal dust," she said.
"Once the damage is done there is no going back...do not underestimate the damage coal can do, even in its dry form."
Mrs Fehlhaber's grandfather was Eli Deeley, a man instrumental in starting today's multi-billion dollar coal industry.
He was only 16 when he arrived in Australia from Wales and became a very wealthy man after being given 100,000 shares in Blair Athol.
Over 100 years later, his granddaughter says there is nothing attractive about an open-cut coalmine and the Prime Minister is wrong in saying that coal is good.
"Even the transporting of coal by rail was not done with any safety measures in place," Mrs Fehlhaber said.
"There were no covers over the coal to stop the dust from polluting the air.
"I know what I would rather stand by on a windy day, an uncovered coal bunker or a wind turbine?"
Mrs Fehlhaber said Australia needed a John Muir or Theodore Roosevelt to understand that once a country's beauty is demolished, it is gone forever.
"America can thank its lucky stars these enlightened men were fighting for its beautiful landscapes…Yellowstone and Yosemite and all the other parks they saved are still there for all America and the world to enjoy," she said.
"I wish Australia had more people of this stripe.
"Our Prime Minister tells us caring for the environment must not come at the expense of the economy, but whose economy is he protecting?
"Greg Hunt (Environment Minister) apparently has not even checked out the history of Adani in India.
"Adani are being investigated by their own government, so it should be a concern to our government.
"The Indian Government says they have a history of not doing the right thing. Their environmental violations include clearing mangroves, interfering with the operation of a tidal creek, and all without approvals."
Mrs Fehlhaber also feels strongly that there has been deceit involved in declaring how many jobs are involved and how much money is being invested.
"Don't let the truth get in the way of a good scare campaign Mr Abbott…do Australians really want permanent damage to our water supply and beautiful country, just for an overseas billionaire to profit.
"I am proud of my country. It is beautiful and I want it to stay that way, not ripped apart by greedy overseas investors who don't care one little bit about it."