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CQ man who battled billion dollar mines will run for office

Jericho grazier Bruce Currie, who has fought to stop Adani's Carmichael mine going ahead, is going to contest the seat of Gregory as an independent when the next state election is called.
Jericho grazier Bruce Currie, who has fought to stop Adani's Carmichael mine going ahead, is going to contest the seat of Gregory as an independent when the next state election is called. Contributed

BRUCE Currie, the grazier who gained national attention after battling a giant coal mine proposal, intends to run in the next state election.

He said there were "25 million environmental activists" in Australia who cared for the environment like he did.

Mr Currie said he was not only fighting court battles - but "rhetoric" which accused those who challenged mega-mines of being extremists.

He and wife Annette own the Speculation cattle farm north of Jericho.

Mr Currie plans to run as an independent in Queensland's vast Gregory electorate, his third successive tilt at the polls.

Larger than the state of Victoria, it includes areas around Aramac, Barcaldine, Blackall, Clermont, Emerald, Quilpie, Rolleston and Windorah.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has until May 2018 to call an election.

This week, Mr Currie told NewsRegional the key issues for him included jobs, long-term economic growth, and water quality and security in the Great Artesian Basin and elsewhere.

"How sustainable is our lifestyle? Where are the jobs for the future?"

He said the fact Gregory was viewed as a safe LNP seat would not deter him from trying again to gain a seat in parliament.

It was important to have a go, he said.

Current MP Lachlan Millar won 46.4% of votes last time, well above Labor's Cheryl Thompson at 26.4%.

Mr Currie hoped Australia would develop domestic industries that generated quality products and long-term job opportunities without wrecking the environment.

"I certainly won't get any support or funding from the resources sector," he said.

On July 4, the Land Court in Brisbane decided the recommended Hancock mining lease should be granted.

The Curries argued the GVK Kevin's Corner mine's groundwater demands would effectively destroy their livelihood.

GVK Hancock said it had undertaken numerous, detailed environmental assessments.

The mining company said it also had "make good" agreements with landholders surrounding the mine, so would be legally responsible for any impacts to nearby groundwater.

Land Court member Wayne Cochrane decided some negative environmental impacts were inevitable, but "outweighed by the benefits" of the mine's development.

Adani, an Indian multinational, was given approval a month earlier for the first part of its $21 billion Carmichael mine in the Mackay region.

Mr Currie said some coal and oil companies left a mess behind when moving from rural communities to exploit different areas.

"Once the oil runs out - no jobs, no power, no water. I couldn't run my business like that." -NewsRegional

Topics:  adani emerald great artesian basin gregory electorate gvk hancock jericho lachlan millar mining


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