Eucalypt plants defy nature at abandoned Mt Morgan mine

EUCALYPT seedlings are growing along the edges of highly acidic water at the Mt Morgan mine site.

The plants were first noticed two weeks ago when councillors toured the site.

"Seedlings were growing in highly acidic soil where the pH shouldn't support them, and they are thriving," Cr Neil Fisher said.

"On the very edge of the water, 300-400 eucalypt seedlings are growing where plants normally would have died."

Cr Fisher, a horticulturalist, said every now and then nature takes a step forward and overcomes a hurdle it's never had to deal with before.

He is keen to have CQUniversity involved.

"Phytoremediation is where plants help to draw out toxins and metals from the soil they are growing in ... but it needs to go from a horticulturalist's point of view to microbiologists and botanists," he said.

Councillors have vowed to lobby state and federal politicians to raise the profile of Mt Morgan.

"We want a commitment that there is a consistent effort and budget for this process and to reduce the amount of water in the pit, therefore reducing the risk of overflow into the Dee River," said Cr Fisher.

During a recent presentation to Senator Ian McDonald and Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, the council sought a commitment that Mt Morgan wouldn't be forgotten and would be financially supported.

Mayor Margaret Strelow said the problem with water in the mine pit lay in its concentration and was not a problem by the time it reached the Fitzroy.

Cr Fisher said he had great confidence in the work being done on the mine's rehabilitation and the staff needed more support for their cutting-edge work.

"They spend a lot of time defending their work. Some of it is outside the box."



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