City delegation to fight coal dust
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
A DELEGATION will be sent to lobby parliament to minimise the impact of pollution in Gladstone, after residents and industry representatives met at a meeting on Thursday night.
The meeting was convened by Graham McVean on behalf of the Concerned Citizens for a Cleaner Gladstone.
Speaking after the meeting Mr McVean said he was overwhelmed with the turnout.
More than 80 people attended the meeting to voice their concerns at not only the latest oil spill but also the recurring problem of coal dust throughout the town.
Central Queensland Ports Authority (CQPA) CEO Leo Zussino and Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham addressed the meeting. Mr Zussino fielded at times quite fiery questions from the audience about the port authority's operations.
He said the CQPA was 'very much aware of the potential for coal dust to impact on the community and strives for improved management of dust suppression'.
Mr Zussino said for this reason the CQPA used sprinkler programs and water trucks at both the RG Tanna Coal Terminal and the Barney Point Coal Terminal.
'Despite CQPA doubling its coal throughput, the amount of coal dust today is 10 times less than that of 10 years ago,' he said.
Towards the end of the meeting, representatives from the CQPA stood at the back of the room and heckled Mr McVean as he tried to put a motion to the meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting it was decided that a delegation, to include Mrs Cunningham and Mr McVean, would be sent to lobby both the Premier and the Prime Minister to address the issue of pollution in Gladstone.
Mr Zussino also agreed to pursue, with the Environmental Protection Agency, the reinstatement of the Gladstone Dust Committee, to allow all industry to work towards reducing environmental impacts on the community.