Colton coal mine gets approval

UPDATE: GREEN groups have called for Queensland's mine approval system to be overhauled in the wake of the Colton coal mine's approval. 

The Queensland Land Court on Thursday recommended the mine, located outside Maryborough, be approved but said miner New Hope will have to adhere to stricter 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 only "chemically benign" stored rainwater would be released into the river. They said water used to wash coal would not be released.   

"In the present case, the evidence which has been provided to the court establishes that the quality requirements imposed for the discharge of water into the Mary River are such that the release does not pose a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage," Mr Isdale said.   

Wide Bay Burnett Protection Alliance spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said she was disappointed with the court's decision.   

"Unfortunately, this judgment shows that the laws in Queensland are not strong enough to protect people and communities from the negative impacts of mining," she said.   

"It is outrageous that a whole community of people can be sacrificed for a coal mine that puts their health at risk from dangerous coal dust particles in the air, and from airborne dust contaminating the tank water which they all rely on for drinking."  

The court ruled there was no evidence that the people of Aldershot's health would be at risk from the mine.

Mr Isdale ordered New Hope to introduce revised noise limits.   

The Colton mine is expected to produce about 5 million tons of coking coal. After 10 years of operation the open cut put will be about 3km away from the nearest house.   

New Hope has been contacted for comment.   

ARM NEWSDESK  

EARLIER: THE Colton coal mine has been given court approval - but environmentalists have called for the approval system to be overhauled.

The Queensland Land Court on Thursday recommended the mine outside Maryborough be approved, but said miner New Hope will have to adhere to stricter noise level conditions.

Environmentalists challenged the mine's approval, claiming it would impact the lives and livelihood of the people of the nearby town of Aldershot.

Wide Bay Burnett Protection Alliance spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said she was disappointed with the court's decision.

"The judgement by the Land Court to allow the mine to proceed largely unchanged is incredibly disappointing for the people of Aldershot who have banded together because of their grave concerns about the impacts of this mine on their local community," she said.

More to come.

ARM NEWSDESK


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