Bundaberg locals worried about the potential future impact of a planned coal mine have achieved what is believed to be a first for any Queensland community group and installed baseline air monitoring devices.
Avondale resident of 31 years Penny Taylor said far from preparing for the construction of the mine, the establishment of the air monitors was a way for the local Bundaberg Protectors Group to show proponent Fox Resources how serious they were about fighting the proposal.
“I think it will intimidate Fox Resources because it will show the company how deadly serious we are,” she said.
“We are going to have so much data that will prove just how little pollution there is around Avondale.
“The community is absolutely serious and there is no way Fox Resources will get its mine - it is just not going to happen.”
The group also hopes to raise money to conduct scientific water sampling.
Gladstone Conservation Council co-ordinator Anna Hitchcock said coal mines were well known for producing harmful particulate matter that impacted people’s health.
“The people of Bundaberg and Avondale do not want their health threatened by a coal mine, especially when the data we have seen already shows just how healthy and clean the air is here at the moment," she said.
"As far as I know, this is the first community in Queensland to start doing baseline air quality monitoring before a fossil fuel project has been approved."
Two monitors have been installed so far - in Bundaberg city and at Avondale - and the Bundaberg Protectors Group has plans to install several more.
The air monitors, which are manufactured in the USA, are unique in that their data is available online in a publicly accessible worldwide network.
The monitors take continuous measurements of dust and fine particles which are harmful to human health. Data from the monitors can be viewed at https://www.purpleair.com/map?opt=1/i/mPM25/a60/cC1#8/-24.9/152.779.