Proposed Colton coal mine map.
Proposed Colton coal mine map.

Noosa group prepares to fight coal mine

A NOOSA environmental group is gearing up to fight a proposed coal mine which they say will discharge almost a billion litres a year of untreated mine waste in to the Mary River systems.

The uncut coal mine is proposed for construction by New Hope Group at Colton, 10km north of Maryborough and about 30km west of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.

The Great Sandy Straight Saviours are holding an information session on August 30 in Eumundi to discuss the "devastating" impact the mine will have on Maryborough, the Wide Bay and Noosa regions.

"The mine will discharge 985 million litres per annum of untreated mine waste directly into the Mary River system and Sandy Strait," GSSS committee member Mo Riggs said.

"The discharge will contain heavy metal contaminates which will impact the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, just across the Strait from the Mary river mouth."

She said the habitats of rare species of dolphins, dugongs, sea birds and migrating humpback whales will all be at risk of contamination and ruin.

New Hope Group released a statement in a bid to quash concerns of environmental groups, stating the "Colton Project has been through a lengthy environmental assessment process mandated by Queensland legislation".

"The project is not located on or adjacent to any world heritage properties," the statement reads.

"Mine-affected water will be used in the mining operation and not released from the site. Water quality will be closely monitored and managed on site, with treatment options considered if required.

"The Queensland Government would not have issued the project's environmental permit if it had any concerns about the impact on the dolphins.

"The Colton Project is a significant distance from protected wetlands and Hervey Bay, and will have no measurable impact on threatened or endangered marine mammals."

In May this year, New Hope Group said the approval of the Queensland Government mining lease "demonstrates that the environmental credentials of the project stack up".

However, the Mary River Catchment Committee, GSSS and other environmental groups have requested the Environmental Minister Josh Frydenberg reverse the state approvals, requiring the company to be assessed by the Federal Government.

The GSSS believe the "destruction" of Fraser Island, also known by its indigenous name K'Gari, will impact 4000 tourism jobs that rely on the ecological integrity of the surrounding areas.

New Hope group said it is in the final stages of discussion with stakeholders before construction begins.

Meanwhile, a Colton coal mine protest song featuring almost a dozen Sunshine Coast artists reached more than 20,000 views on Facebook in three days.

Thank you Colton Coal Mine features Andrea Kirwin, the Barley Shakes, Barry Charles, David Flower, Michelle Clifford and more singing about the damage to the region if the coal mine were to go ahead.

Mine forum

Speakers professor Jon Brodie, Dr Tanzi Smith, John Sinclair and more.

Eumundi School of Arts, 6-8pm, August 30.