Truss says he's worried about mine

ALDERSHOT residents’ concerns about a proposal to build an open-cut coal mine in the area are genuine, Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss says.

“I have had several meetings with Aldershot residents, including one with a large group of people on Tuesday this week. They made their case strongly and outlined their concerns clearly,” Mr Truss said yesterday.

“I share the local residents’ anxiety about the close proximity of the proposed mine to their homes and waterways.

“They are worried about the noise and dust pollution from the mine, which could be as close as 2.15km from their homes.

“The health of residents and the environment, and the protection of property, are of paramount importance and must be thoroughly resolved as part of the assessment process.”

Northern Energy Corporation, the company behind the mine, has not yet completed an environmental management plan, which must address the issues and take heed of the community’s concerns.

Mr Truss, the Federal leader of the Nationals, said the Queensland Government needed to act urgently and rigorously to end the uncertainty and residents’ anxiety.

“While this issue is primarily one to be decided by the State Government, I have encouraged the residents to continue to keep me informed of their concerns, including whether there are any elements of the proposal that may trigger an assessment under the Federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act.”

He said he had emailed Queensland Mines Minister Stephen Robertson to highlight the concerns and asking for an outline to details and a timetable for assessment of the mine proposal.

Mr Truss is due to meet with NEC officials in Brisbane today.

“I have always found that it is better to work diligently through the issues, having gathered all the facts, to achieve a satisfactory outcome.”

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