Several gates at Rockhampton’s barrage were opened this week as the Fitzroy River flows following recent rains and mine discharges.
Several gates at Rockhampton’s barrage were opened this week as the Fitzroy River flows following recent rains and mine discharges. Allan Reinikka

Mine water releases now online

INFORMATION on Fitzroy Basin mine water releases is now publicly available.

Earlier this week Environment Minister Vicky Darling directed a review of how the Department of Environment and Resource Management notified the community of unauthorised mine water discharges.

Ms Darling said she had taken immediate action following concerns raised by Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan about the level of communication between the department and the community.

"I, like Paul Hoolihan, believe there should be open and transparent communication and that the people of Central Queensland should be aware of what's happening in their water catchments," Ms Darling said.

"I am advised that the water releases were only minor breaches and there was no environmental impact and that's why they were not reported on.

"However this government is committed to open and transparent information - and that's why details of all Fitzroy Basin mine water releases will now be available online at www.fitzroyriver.qld.gov.au.

"The results (published Friday) show eight mines are releasing water - all within normal approvals.

"This information is in addition to water quality monitoring which is published daily and will be available in a report each week which explains water quality in the region and mine discharges.

"The report will include information on water quality, salinity levels and coal mine releases.

"The first report - 23 January to 2 February - shows that water quality is good across all monitoring networks and will have no impact on livestock, irrigation or drinking water.

"It also states that 18 mines that released water during this period including the two well publicised releases operating outside their approvals.

"These releases are being investigated for possible enforcement action."



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