Loss of jobs adds to Fitzroy River water quality fears
THE cutting of 400 environmental jobs by the Newman government has heightened Fitzroy River water quality concerns, the State Opposition said yesterday.
Shadow Environment Minister Jackie Trad said the mining industry had been allowed to police itself when complying with permits or authorities when releasing contaminated water.
"Reports of eight mines being investigated for allegedly breaching permits to dump toxic water during recent flood rains show water releases are not being planned, executed or monitored properly by the Newman government," Ms Trad said.
"The loss of 400 jobs in state environmental agencies underlines just what a low priority the LNP government puts on environmental protection and the wellbeing of Central Queenslanders."
Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne spoke about the matter on the banks of the Fitzroy River yesterday and called for Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney to come to Rockhampton and guarantee to the region's residents that their drinking water was safe.
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell MP said quality control on drinking water had never been compromised.
"As this government reported last Friday, mines in the Fitzroy Basin are required by their Environmental Authority (EA) conditions to monitor a rigorous set of water quality parameters when releasing mine-affected water, testing for a range of contaminants including salinity, sulphate, pH, turbidity or suspended solids, heavy metals, sodium and petroleum hydrocarbons," he said.