ADF plans to acquire central Queensland farming land for expanded war games anger local graziers

Crowd at Marlborough Public HallAngry residents of a small central Queensland town are warning the Federal Government they will not walk away from their land, despite plans to remove them and expand a nearby military training facility.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has revealed plans to acquire land to the west of the existing Shoalwater Bay training area, north of Rockhampton, to cater for larger war games and an increased number of Singaporean troops training in the region.

The upgrades would be paid for by the Singaporean Government, as part of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed late last year.

More than 40 landholders in the Stanage Bay and Marlborough area have been issued with notices that their property may be acquired for the expansion.

About 200 locals gathered at the Marlborough Public Hall on Monday afternoon for what became a fiery community meeting between landholders and local politicians.

Grazier Alf Collins said he was not interested in a pay out and would do everything to keep the cattle station owned by his family for generations.

“I’m in the middle of it, and I’m definitely not for sale and not for acquisition,” Mr Collins said.

He said they were preparing for a David and Goliath battle.

“Bullying is a word that comes to mind very quickly and if you were in kindergarten, you’d be ostracised, counselled and your parents pulled in because you bullied little toddlers,” Mr Collins said.

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