Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers test the water in the Nogoa River, one of several sites in the Fitzroy Basin they have taken samples from this month.
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers test the water in the Nogoa River, one of several sites in the Fitzroy Basin they have taken samples from this month. Contributed

Final Fitzroy water test results in, what you need to know

WHEN Larry Coleman was "engulfed by a very vile smell" at the Fitzroy River, he took his pollution fears all the way to UNESCO.

But the State Government have assured there's no cause for concern.

The Rockhampton man shared his experience at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's town hall meeting on January 31, urging the State Government take action to address the issue; suggesting pollutants from coal mines could be the cause.

 

 

Mr Coleman's call to action saw Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) officers deployed the next morning to sample water in Rockhampton, Moura, Blackwater and Emerald.

Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles today said results to date reveal "good water quality across the Fitzroy Basin".

"Laboratory results just in from testing at Glenroy Crossing and the Fitzroy Barrage on the Fitzroy River, and from the Dawson River and Kianga Creek near Moura, showed no major concerns," Dr Miles said.

"When they become available, we can advise the results of tests taken at the other locations."

While Mr Coleman had claimed his own pH tests return an acidic reading, EHP results reveal the pH was within "normal range"; 7.4 at Glenroy Crossing and 7.2 at the Fitzroy Barrage.

 

Workers testing the water in the Nogoa River.
Workers testing the water in the Nogoa River. Contributed

 

EHP have returned the following results:

. pH was within normal range: 7.4 at Glenroy Crossing and 7.2 at the Fitzroy Barrage

. Electrical conductivity (a measure of salinity) was low: 187 us/cm at Glenroy Crossing and 146 us/cm at the Fitzroy Barrage.

. Dissolved metals presented no concerns at either location.

Results from Kianga Creek and the Dawson River testing showed:

. pH was within the normal range: 7.4 in Kianga Creek and 8.3 in the Dawson River.

. Electrical conductivity was low at both locations: 253 us/cm in Kianga Ck and 284 us/cm in the Dawson River.

. Dissolved metals presented no concerns at either location.

The results follow preliminary water quality testing released on February 2 which showed no discernible pollution events.

 

Dr Miles said that while coal mines in the Central Queensland region were authorised to release water from their sites under strict conditions, no coal mines were currently releasing mine affected water within the Fitzroy Basin.

No coal mines were releasing water at the time the complaint was made.

During the town hall meeting Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne told Mr Coleman it was "mischievous and wrong" to suggest the weater was unfit to drink.

 

State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne takes the floor at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's public forum, held at the Rockhampton Leagues Club.Photo Trinette Stevens / The Morning Bulletin
State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne takes the floor at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's public forum, held at the Rockhampton Leagues Club.Photo Trinette Stevens / The Morning Bulletin Amber Hooker

Today he has said EHP environmental officer would be out in full force in 2017, keeping a close eye on industry and its activities, to protect Central Queensland's environment.

Mr Byrne said officers last year conducted almost 1000 field inspections at various industry locations in the region to make sure operators complied with environmental laws.

"The Central Queensland region has a vast array of landscapes and environments and EHP teams will continue to do their bit to help keep them intact," Mr Byrne said.

"Our laws and regulations are designed to avoid or minimise the impacts to all aspects of our environment including to air, land, water, noise, waste and heritage places.

"I am pleased to report most operators in Central Queensland continue to do the right thing," he said.

There were 972 field inspections conducted last year, an average of 20 inspections per compliance centre per month. Field inspections involved 842 different locations operated by 302 different businesses. Enforcement action resulted from 25 per cent of inspections in the region.

 

STATE POLITICS: MP Glenn Butcher.
STATE POLITICS: MP Glenn Butcher. Paul Braven GLA040117NATION

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said 50 EHP field officers are deployed year round from offices in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Maryborough, Emerald and Roma, making sure the environment is protected from harm.

"Staff plan and undertake inspections on operators that hold environmental authorities with EHP to ensure they are complying with the conditions of their approval, and in turn environmental, heritage or coastal laws," Mr Butcher said.

Mr Butcher said 83 per cent of Central Queensland inspections were the result of proactive planning and the implementation of a systematic, strategic compliance program.

"While this is the case, EHP also respond to emergent situations where required," Mr Butcher said.

"Last year, the Central Queensland community was fantastic by reporting complaints and information through our Pollution Hotline - 1300 130 372 - about potential environmental breaches, and we responded to incidents as swiftly as possible," he said.



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