OUR SAY: Colton coalmine go-ahead worries residents
UNDERSTANDABLY there has been mixed reaction to the Queensland Land Court's decision to give the go-ahead to New Hope's Colton coalmine.
On one hand there are quite disturbing safety fears held by green groups and regional activists that the new venture will bring a host of health-threatening risks while on the other there has been a warm reception for the possible local jobs it will bring.
The first was disbelief by those who fear the worst from the development of the 5 million tonnne coking coal venture.
Antagonists fear the proposed mine, to be located 10km north of Maryborough, ticks the wrong boxes and say the health of Aldershot residents is at risk.
The Land Court yesterday recommended the mine be approved but said New Hope would have to adhere to strict noise level conditions.
Land Court member William Isdale ruled the mine would not have an impact on the nearby Mary River.
New Hope experts told the court water used to wash coal would not be released adding that only "chemically benign" stored rainwater would be released into the river.
Concerned residents say they won't trust the health of their stored rainwater because of possible pollution particularly as after 10 years of operation the open cut will be about 3km away from the nearest house.
New Hope has been given notice that its mining operation will be watched with great interest by the people of this region.