Mine water discharge dries up
QUEENSLAND Resource Council CEO Michael Roche yesterday defended the coal mine sector's environmental credentials following speculation that mine water discharge regulations might be eased.
His comments came after reports the LNP was planning to cut red tape on future mining projects (Mines Legislation Amendment Bill 2012) to fast-track the approval process for companies that do the right thing.
Mr Roche explained that he thought there had been a lot of misleading statements surrounding this issue and the environmental implications, including the amount of water discharged by the mines.
He explained the amount of water pumped out by each mine was carefully controlled and despite common belief, there had not been a mine that discharged any water into the Fitzroy system since July 25, two months ago.
"Despite a legacy of around 250,000 megalitres of floodwater from 2011 and 2012, there has never been an expectation from industry of a free pass on the environment," Mr Roche said.
"The Fitzroy is already the most extensively monitored river basin in the state and that is something that the coal industry continues to support through the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health."
Mr Roche said the streamlined legislation was aimed at making the application process for mines simpler, replacing a paper-based system with electronic lodgement
"Nowhere in the legislation is there a downgrading of environmental outcomes or industry responsibilities," Mr Roche said.
How it flows
No water discharged in Fitzroy since July
250,000 megalitres of floodwater from 2011 and 2012 still held in mine pits