QLD residents raise creek pollution concerns

Residents in a north west Queensland town have expressed concerns of contamination to waterways if a mining company is given permission to divert a creek in the areas.

The ABC has reported that concerned community members have taken their fight about the alteration of the Coral Creek course to the state government.

Mining Communities United in Collinville’s spokesperson Donna Bulloh told the ABC the organisation is concerned about the move, which would allow access to over 3 million tonnes tonnes of coal, because it could damage native vegetation and wildlife as well as the quality of waterways.

"Our community is a strong supporter of the industry – we always have been, we always will be," she said.

"We know that sometimes this has to happen but I think we need a lot more reassurance.

"We want DERM [the Department of Environment and Resource Management] to step up, we want [the] Department of Mines all to really closely [look at this] and not just get it and see the dollar signs and just tick it off."

The group met with mine representatives to share its concerns last night.

"What we’re concerned about is that these guys said they’d never come near Coral Creek," she said.

"Now they’re proposing to divert a natural creek system and with the past history of the mine and some of the bad records of chemical spills, we just want more control of the vital local waterways."

Contamination of land and waterways by mining operations has been making headlines lately, and yesterday Queensland Minister for Environment Stirling Hinchcliffe announced new legislation that makes it tougher for mining companies to get approvals and ensures they keep landholders informed about any operations they are performing on their properties.

Earlier this week, Energy Resources Australia (ERA) was under pressure to close the uranium mine in the Kakadu National Park, with a scientist previously employed by the company saying contamination from the mine into nearby waterways was a possibility.

Image: Sonoma Coal

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