LNP Rockhampton candidate Gavin Finch
LNP Rockhampton candidate Gavin Finch Chris Ison

Solution to pollution is not dilution

THE LNP's Rockhampton candidate, Gavin Finch, says a major rethink is needed on mine-water discharges to protect the Fitzroy River's future.

Mr Finch, who describes himself as a long-time Fitzroy River water-quality campaigner, is critical of the Labor government's handling of discharges into the river's catchment, saying it's time to get tough on mines.

"The solution to the pollution is dilution. That's the ALP way and it's not good enough," Mr Finch said.

"The idea that self regulation works in the mining industry is ridiculous."

He said mines should return, to the catchment, water of the same quality as what was extracted.

Discharges of a poorer water quality added up over time.

"You only have to look at the Dee River to understand the long-term damage that can be done by self regulation," Mr Finch said.

He said the Department of Environment and Resource Management needed to rethink its approach to mine water discharges.

"In one generation's time, if this keeps up, we could be looking at a river system unusable for agriculture and human activity," Mr Finch said.

"It seems we are returning to normal wet seasons in this country and in the next 10 years, with the increases to mining activities, expected in this area it's only going to get worse.

"The solution is when these mines do their environment impact statements, part of this should be focused on water results and making sure the quality of the water they return is the same as what they extract from the system.

"This was not an issue during the drought years."

He said it was essential that scientific experts and hydrologists were brought in to review procedures, with the costs borne by the mining companies.

Mr Finch stipulated the LNP was not anti-mining.



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