The Major Infrastructure General Layout of the proposed Colton coal mine.
The Major Infrastructure General Layout of the proposed Colton coal mine. Contributed

Locals protest Colton open cut coal mine

THE power of people shone on Wednesday night as 200 came together to protest the Colton coal mine with the meeting successfully coming to a resolution.

Last night, the meeting held at Eumundi Hall on the Qld Sunshine Coast scientists, tourism operators and locals unanimously supported a resolution calling on Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and the Qld Government to protect the Fraser Coast and Mary River from the proposed mine.

Dr Tanzi Smith from the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee said the mine's waste water would increase sediment and contaminent loads of heavy metals into the Susan and Mary River systems as well as the Great Sandy Strait.

"In this case, dilution is not the solution for pollution," Ms Smith said.

In November last year, the Colton coal mine, owned by the New Hope Group, was given court approval sparking an uproar among environmentalists as they called for the approval to be overhauled.

The courts approved the mine outside Maryborough on the condition New Hope would adhere to stricter noise level conditions.

Spokeswoman for the Great Sandy Strait Saviours, Liz Diggles, said the mine not only threatened World Heritage values but also the 4000 jobs that relied on the values being maintained and protected.

"It is completely unacceptable that an open cut coal mine could be authorised in our sensitive Fraser Coast region without an Environmental Impact Statement," she said.

However, environmentalists argued it would still impact the lives and livelihood of people living in nearby towns.

It was expected the mine would produce about five million tonnes of coking coal but the court ruled there was no evidence that the health of surrounding communities would be impacted after concerns were raised.