Mine expansion hearing: Experts say flood levels acceptable
A FLOOD and water resources engineer says the possible increased flood levels that could result from an expansion of the East End mine were acceptable due to the natural restriction of the land.
A two week hearing into the proposed expansion of the East End mine by Cement Australia has continued this week in the Land Court of Queensland with Neil Ian Collins presenting evidence on Tuesday morning in Gladstone.
The expansion of the mine as well as the draft environmental plan are actively objected to by the East End Mine Action Group Inc and a number of nonactive objectors including Gladstone Regional Council.
The proceedings began last Monday with an inspection of the mine site followed by opening statements on Tuesday.
Throughout the two weeks parties will put forward experts in various fields including geology and hydrology to be cross-examined after giving pre-written evidence.
Mr Collins was called upon by Cement Australia and tendered three expert reports into flooding of the mine expansion and surface water.
Member James McNamara questioned Mr Collins about the impact flood events could have on the Bruce Highway creek crossing as well as the necessity for a bund wall based on the projected scenarios.
“The levy (bund wall) is definitely needed to truncate flood waters that wouldn’t ordinarily enter into that area,” Mr Collins said.
“Because it’s a mine, minimum type requirements for large pieces of infrastructure generally is they have to be protected from 1 in 1000 year flood event.”
Member McNamara noted objectors made comments about the area of the proposed mining lease, would in ordinary circumstances in a significant flood, a significant part of that area would be under water, one estimating about three quarters of the area.
Mr Collins said agreed it did inundate a significant part of the area but he said a levy would not cause major impact because the area had a number of natural restriction points.
“Which is why we’re not getting massive increases in flood level which is the only reason I’m suggesting this levy is acceptable,” Mr Collins said.
“If you were an urban developer those level increases wouldn’t be acceptable.
“But my view is they are acceptable.”
The hearing continues tomorrow in Gladstone.