Topics:  andrew powell, bill byrne, isaac river, jeff seeney, mine water discharge, mining, pilot program, queensland resources council

Fitzroy pilot program raises concerns over water quality

A PILOT program allowing four BHP Mitsubishi Alliance mines in Queensland to pump extra water into the Isaac River has stirred up concerns about the safety of Rockhampton's drinking water.

The program, announced by Environment Minister Andrew Powell in November last year, is set to start once there has been sufficient rain and will aim to remove water which filled mine pits during the 2010-11 floods.

While the program has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council, Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne today expressed concerns over what this would mean for the city's drinking water.

"The people of Rockhampton remain very concerned about what effects the release of this dirty water will have on the supply of our drinking water," he said.

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney said Mr Byrne was just "scaremongering".

"The Newman Government is implementing a whole of catchment water quality management system that is used in many places around the world, including the Hunter River in New South Wales," Mr Seeney said.

"It will ensure the mining industry can operate as well as guaranteeing water quality in the whole catchment area."

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning and Andrew Powell, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection in Rockhampton when the pilot program was announced. Photo: Sharyn O&squot;Neill.
Acting Premier Jeff Seeney and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning and Andrew Powell, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection in Rockhampton when the pilot program was announced. Photo: Sharyn O&squot;Neill. Sharyn O'Neill ROK081112swater3

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