Coal dust risk worse than asbestos

THERE appears to be no medical or scientific evidence underpinning the two kilometre buffer zone around areas where mining exploration is to be restricted, according to Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson.

“Coal dust is lethal. This is why mines have strict safety protocols for their workers. Coal dust is also very light. The slightest movement of air, let alone prevailing seasonal winds, will lift it and carry it kilometres,” he said.

“My fear is that this irresponsible policy will act as an invitation for mines to operate right up to the buffer zone boundary and coal dust will be a worse health story than asbestos.

“Blackwater and Moranbah are both living under this threat right now. I doubt Labor’s announcement will change this and it certainly won’t protect beautiful little towns like Capella, Comet, Springsure and Rolleston. There are around 40 towns in Gregory feeling this policy makes their future uncertain.”

Speaking in State Parliament this week, Mr Johnson said the policy divided Queenslanders and raised more questions than it answered.

“Do some Queenslanders have more rights than others? Clearly they do. Labor’s actions are telling every citizen of a small town that they are second-class citizens,” he said.


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