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Coal dust part of Gladstone life, mum of four says

MOTHER-of-four Leisa Teather finds it difficult to keep her children's feet going black from the coal dust in Gladstone but she says she loves it here and wouldn't live anywhere else.

"I wouldn't move (from Gladstone). We're happily settled and I don't begrudge the industry itself," Ms Teather said, although she admitted she would move from south Gladstone if she could.

"I didn't realise how bad it was over this side of town.

"We've been here for five-and-a-half years in this house but we've lived in New Auckland and Sun Valley before this, and never had quite as much trouble with coal dust over there."

A report that came out Friday shows air pollution has increased by 40% in Gladstone in five years.

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That story was reported in The Observer on Saturday, and our readers have been quite chatty over it. The report did not surprise Mrs Teather, who said she put her faith in the environmental regulators and monitors.

"It's got to be regulated and monitored and citizens should expect government organisations or unions or industry to monitor those things," she said.

"We have to wash the floor constantly, because you can notice it," Mrs Teather said.

"We've got in trouble from our real estate for having dirty fans but they pick up the coal dust."

Mrs Teather has lived in Gladstone for 17 years, and said while those in industry should be trying to reduce emissions, there were also whingers in town.

"I had to get used to it but you just expect it because it's a port city," she said.

"You look at Newcastle and it's the same."

Mrs Teather and her children are not asthmatic, but she said they "just sort of deal with it".

"I don't usually notice it until my eyes are stinging but once that happens I'm inside with the air-con on," she said.

"You can tell what days are bad. We sat on our back deck the other week with our phones on the table and you could see the white dust just falling onto our phone screens."

Topics:  coal dust, gladstone, mines




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