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Risk to life and livelihoods as activist sets fires on Carmichael Mining Lease

14 June 2023

Risk to life and livelihoods as activist sets fires on Carmichael Mining Lease

Bravus Mining and Resources has sought an urgent meeting with Queensland’s fire service commissioner after an activist started an illegal bushfire on the Carmichael Mining Lease in central Queensland, dangerously close to fuel stores, our airstrip, and an accommodation village housing 500 mine workers.

Last Thursday (8 June) activist Coedie McAvoy allegedly used a butane torch to light a fire in tinder-dry bushland near a dam north of the operational Carmichael mine. The fire came within three and a half kilometres of the mine’s airstrip where 43,000 litres of extremely flammable aviation gasoline is stored. Another few hundred metres away is the Labona accommodation village which 500 mine workers call home.

Mr McAvoy posted a video to social media of him in front of the fire and holding the butane torch, laughing "light it up, let’s go". Mr McAvoy did not seek a permit and had no firefighting controls such as water trucks, graders, or additional fire breaks in place.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has launched an investigation and Bravus is considering what civil action can be taken regarding any damage to mining infrastructure, as well as the loss of any fences, gates, or feed for cattle that are agisted on the land.

A Bravus Mining and Resources spokesperson said the company had written to QFES Commissioner Greg Leach seeking a meeting and urgent intervention to stop Mr McAvoy's increasingly dangerous and anti-social behaviour before other illegal, uncontrolled, fires are lit and cost someone their life or livelihood.

“A bushfire that gets out of control can have catastrophic consequences and only good luck prevented this illegal and grossly irresponsible fire becoming a tragedy,” the spokesperson said.

“This activist is lighting fires on our land without approval, without any of controls in place, and with no way to manage the fire should it get out of control.

“In our view, that is reckless and dangerous behaviour.

“The reality is had the wind changed, this fire could have killed someone.

“This fire could have destroyed not only mine infrastructure but hundreds of hectares of pastoral land, livestock, fences, homesteads, and cattle yards, not to mention the flora and fauna we are conditioned to protect under our environmental authority. 

“The activists unlawfully camped on our Mining Lease have shown time and time again they have no respect for other people’s safety, property, or the law.

“Mr McAvoy is already before the courts for assaulting an Indigenous environmental ranger and a security guard as the pair went about their lawful work on the Mining Lease.

“One of Mr McAvoy's associates, Noah Busiko, has also been charged with criminal offences for interfering with stock gates and disrupting cattle grazing in the region.

“Enough is enough. It's time the authorities used the powers readily available to them under the law and removed Mr McAvoy and his activist mates from our Mining Lease and the scene of these crimes.”


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