QLD govt told to act over Dee River contamination

Six Rockhampton councillors went to Gladstone to call on the Queensland state government to take action on water toxicity problems at the Mount Morgan mine and Dee River.

The councillors went to Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps after they received a complaint from Rockhampton resident Tom Foster.

He told the councillors about the contaminated water flowing from the old gold mine into Dee River, The Morning Bulletin reported.

There were demands for a full investigation into the contamination of Dee River over fears the Mount Morgan gold mine had contaminated it.

The Queensland member for Mirani, Ted Malone said the blue-green colour of the river was unnatural.

Cripps’s assistance minister Lisa France said the department was carrying out evaporative spraying in six catchments to reduce confined water in the mines.

But Cr Glenda Mather was unconvinced and said the government was “chasing their tails”.

She pointed out spraying did not turn water away from the Dee River, adding rain just filled the mine and the catchment with water again.

Senator Barnaby Joyce criticised the Queensland Government for failing to address the water contamination issue at the gold mine.

He said the pit lake is almost at capacity and could leak into Dee River.

But the government refuted the claims and said the mine “is managed to the highest environmental standards”.

Deputy Mayor Tony Williams said the Queensland Health would also speak to them regarding the mine and the river water this week.

While Mount Morgan did not get its drinking water from Dee River, Williams is worried people continue to swim in it.

Williams said Cripps commented on the numerous councillors who had turned up to speak to him about the issue.

The Queensland floods earlier this year resulted in the uncontrolled release of water from the Mount Morgan mine.

The mine, located around 40 kilometres south of Rockhampton on the Dee River, was shut in 1981.

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