Colton Mine plan hits a snag

NORTHERN Energy Corporation's environmental management plan for the proposed Colton Mine near Aldershot has not met State Government standards.

Randall Hart from the Department of Environment and Resource Management said soil characteristics, groundwater and potential impacts to waterways were the main issues that had not been adequately addressed in the company's Environmental Management Plan.

“The company now has a year to come back to the department with further information to satisfy the legislative requirements of an Environmental Management Plan.”

NEC chief executive officer Keith Barker said DERM had requested more information on some points but he did not wish to discuss them with the Chronicle.

“We're meeting with DERM soon to discuss the issues, which we will be addressing.”

Brian Linforth from the Aldershot and District Against Mining group welcomed the news yesterday.

“This is despite NEC consultants providing about 1000 pages of theory modelling as to what might happen if the mine were to go ahead,” Mr Linforth said.

“We believe there are many issues still to be addressed including dust, waste water discharge to the Mary River and environmental issues relating to flora and fauna.”

Mr Linforth said the group had recently gained the support of the Greater Mary Association, which played a major role in protesting against the ill-fated State Government's plan to build a dam at Traveston Crossing.

“We spoke to the Greater Mary group this week and now they're hot on the trail of this mine proposal.

“AADAM will also ask Maryborough MP Chris Foley to present a 1000-strong anti-mine petition to the next Queensland Parliament sitting in early October.

Mr Linforth said the group was prepared to fight the Colton Mine proposal all the way to the Land Court of Queensland.

“We're determined to take it to the land court even if DERM eventually approves it.

“Research carried out by AADAM shows that some 30 per cent of open cut coal mines exceed the limits placed on them by DERM each year.”

The Colton Mine was expected to bring 100 jobs if approved.