Ipswich could face a disaster similar to the Hazelwood mine fire if the Queensland government proceeds with a coal mine close to residential communities, says Lock the Gate (LTG).
Vulnerable residents have been advised to leave the Victorian town of Morwell because of the health risks associated with the Hazelwood open-cut coal mine that has been on fire for nearly a month.
Thick, foul-smelling smoke has blanketed the town raising concerns about cancer causing particles in the air.
LTG president, Drew Hutton said the New Chum mine “on people’s door-step” at Ipswich could cause similar health and environmental risks.
“The Morwell coal fire is the perfect example of why open-cut coal mines should not be allowed near where people live,” he said. “Particulates from coal, especially fine matter, are a major health hazard even if there’s not a fire. But the risks rise exponentially once there’s a fire.”
The LNP government angered the Ipswich City Council and residents last month when they approved the Chum Mine open-cut coal mine, only 550 metres from homes.
Mr Hutton said governments all around Australia were allowing coal mines next to towns and residents should be trying to stop this because of “unacceptable health risks”.
Lock the Gate will hold a community meeting in the area soon to discuss the issues.
Click here for QT story on mine.
Drew Hutton, National President Lock the Gate Alliance ph: 0428487110
Kate Dennehy, Qld Campaign Coordinator LTG ph: 0419 432 624