Defenders called to show evidence of Colton claims
A FRASER Coast environmentalist has called for the Fraser Island Defenders organisation to prove their latest claims behind the water runoff from the Colton coal mine.
It follows the group launching a new fight against the regional mine, claiming the toxic water runoff from the proposed Maryborough mine will drastically affect Hervey Bay's waters and the region's whale population.
The project, owned by mining group New Hope, was granted three critical mining licenses last year and is waiting on final approval from the State Government.
But Roger Currie, president of the Wide Bay Burnett environment council, says the defenders need to substantiate their claims.
He said the group shouldn't make claims about the potential risk unless they had the hard data to back it up.
"It's got to be done by science, not outrageous claims in the media," Mr Currie said.
"Whether it will affect Hervey Bay's migratory whales is a long bow to draw without the proof."
Mr Currie said the possibility of the mine leading to a collapse in the whale watching industry was a "fanciful idea" and invited the group to "show the science so we can make a decision."
Blue Dolphin Marine Tours owner Peter Lynch said the more immediate concern would be for smaller animals in the region's river systems like fish and turtles rather than whales.
"I'm not an expert in the area, but if it did lead to an environmental disaster the big concern wouldn't be about the whales," Mr Lynch said.