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Coal dust concerns for state government's ears

Coal train on the track on the corner of Ruthven and Griffiths Streets. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Coal train on the track on the corner of Ruthven and Griffiths Streets. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

CALLS to cover coal trains from south-east mines running through Ipswich and Brisbane suburbs raised before the Brisbane City Council have been dismissed as a Queensland Government concern.

Clean Air Queensland campaign coordinator Michael Kane addressed the council on Tuesday where he said increasing coal activity outside Toowoomba and Ipswich would have health impacts for the entire south-east corner.

Mr Kane called on the council to declare Brisbane a coal-dust free city and ensure coal trains were covered.

"The technology and infrastructure to substantially mitigate the serious health risks posed by coal dust already exists, we aren't really asking that much," he said.

"The Brisbane City Council urgently need to show leadership on this issue as the coal industry refuses to admit there is a problem and the State Government is ignoring the problem even though Premier Campbell Newman has previously been supportive of covering coal trains."

Mr Kane said he represented other concerned groups including the Oakey Coal Action Alliance, Rosewood and District Protection Society and Clean Air Toowoomba.

A Queensland Resources Council spokesman said the Queensland Environment Department monitored coal dust and its impact had been studied numerous times.

After Mr Kane's submissions, which were made before a packed public gallery, environment committee chair Cr Matthew Bourke said the issue was a State Government issue and outside council jurisdiction.

However, Mr Kane said the council had a "moral responsibility" to end coal dust which more trains from mines outside Brisbane were causing.

Despite the council dismissing the issue, Mr Kane said some councillors supported his submission.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  coal dust environment train



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