Groups vow 'coal mine fight not over yet' despite set back
THE Great Sandy Strait Saviours has been left devastated by a letter stating the Colton Coal Mine will not be put up for Federal Government scrutiny.
In a letter to the organisation, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said his department will not reassess the environmental impacts of the mine proposed for construction 30km west of World Heritage listed-Fraser Island.
GSSS member Mo Riggs said the group was frustrated Mr Frydenberg had pushed aside suggestions the impacts of the proposed coal mine should have federal oversight.
"We are outraged by the decision not to place federal attention on the environmental damage this proposed coal mine could cause for the Great Sandy Strait,” Ms Riggs said.
"Sadly, we are not surprised by the government's dismissal of our well-founded and researched concerns.
"This terrible decision only further highlights why local community groups must unite to protect sensitive environments like the Great Sandy Strait.”
GSSS, the Mary River Catchment Committee and other environmental groups fear the mine's toxic waste will "destroy” the delicate ecosystems of the nearby Mary River, the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island, also known by its indigenous name K'Gari.
A spokesperson from New Hope Group, the company that will operate the mine, said the "Colton project has been through a lengthy environmental assessment process mandated by Queensland legislation”.
But Ms Riggs was not convinced and said the fight to stop the mine going ahead was far from over.
"We resolved to protect the region from inappropriate coal mining and we are just warming up,” Ms Riggs said.
"Our group will meet and decide on the next course of action.
"Clearly the Great Sandy Strait needs everyone to stand up for its future