Anti Colton coal mine group argues waterways risk in court
ALDERSHOT and District Mining Group will be arguing the environmental risks of an open-cut coal mine opening on the Fraser Coast in Brisbane Land Court on Monday.
The anti-mine group will be appearing in court for the first hearing of a legal challenge against New Hope Coal, who wish to open the mine near Aldershot.
The objections by the Aldershot and District Against Mining Group relate to proposed run-off of untreated waste water from the mine into the Mary River, upstream of the Great Sandy Strait, as well as impacts on the health and well-being of the surrounding community.
Aldershot and District against Mining spokesman Brian Linforth said the group lodged the objection against the Colton coal mine almost two years ago because of "grave concerns about the impacts of the mine on our local community".
"Today we are very pleased that the matter will finally be heard in the Brisbane Land Court, with experts presenting their evidence on matters such as air quality, noise and water pollution," Mr Linforth said.
"The proposed coal mine is located just over 2km from our village of our Aldershot, and we are concerned about the impacts of dangerous coal dust particles on our health and on the tank water which we rely on for drinking.
"We're also very concerned about the increased noise levels associated with the mining operations.
"There are over 1042 residents in Aldershot whose health, property values and well-being are all under threat because of this risky coal mining venture" he said.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesman Drew Hutton said it was not just the Aldershot area at risk.
"All Queenslanders stand to lose from this ill-considered proposal by the mine proponents to dump untreated waste water from the Colton mine into the iconic Mary River," Mr Hutton said.
"The extraordinary tourist attractions of Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Strait should not be a dumping ground for the mining industry.
"This mine proposal shows a complete disregard for the internationally significant wetlands and coastlines of the Wide Bay region, and the international attraction they present to tourists from around the world.
"Earlier this year the Palaszczuk Government announced funding to progress the nomination of the Great Sandy Straits as a World Heritage site, but allowing Colton coal mine to pollute the Mary River upstream will put that process in jeopardy."
More to come as the hearing continues.
The New Hope Group has been approached for comment.