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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Rockhampton waterways clear, according to latest water quality results

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Rockhampton waterways clear, according to latest water quality results

    Water testing results to date have confirmed good water quality across the Fitzroy Basin, Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said today.

    “The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection responded quickly by checking water quality at seven sites in central Queensland after a concerned citizen told the Premier he was concerned that pollution was affecting the region’s rivers,” Dr Miles said.

    “The citizen made the comment at a town hall meeting hosted by the Premier in Rockhampton on 31 January“.

    Dr Miles said EHP collected water quality samples at various sites including the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton, Dawson River near Moura, Mackenzie River near Blackwater and Nogoa River near Emerald, the day after the comment was made.

    “Laboratory results just in from testing at Glenroy Crossing and the Fitzroy Barrage on the Fitzroy River, and from the Dawson River and Kianga Creek near Moura, showed no major concerns,” Dr Miles said.

    “When they become available possibly next month, we can advise the results of tests taken at the other locations.”

    Results from the Fitzroy River testing showed:

     

    • pH was within normal range: 7.4 at Glenroy Crossing and 7.2 at the Fitzroy Barrage
    • Electrical conductivity (a measure of salinity) was low: 187 us/cm at Glenroy Crossing and 146 us/cm at the Fitzroy Barrage.
    • Dissolved metals presented no concerns at either location.

    Results from Kianga Creek and the Dawson River testing showed:

     

    • pH was within the normal range: 7.4 in Kianga Creek and 8.3 in the Dawson River.
    • Electrical conductivity was low at both locations: 253 us/cm in Kianga Ck and 284 us/cm in the Dawson River.
    • Dissolved metals presented no concerns at either location.

    The results follow preliminary water quality testing (released on Feb 2) which showed no discernible pollution events.

    Dr Miles said that while coal mines in the Central Queensland region were authorised to release water from their sites under strict conditions, no coal mines were currently releasing mine affected water within the Fitzroy Basin. No coal mines were releasing water at the time the complaint was made.

    Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said environmental officers from EHP would be out in full force in 2017, keeping a close eye on industry and its activities, to protect Central Queensland’s environment.

    Mr Byrne said officers last year conducted almost 1000 field inspections at various industry locations in the region to make sure operators complied with environmental laws.

    “The Central Queensland region has a vast array of landscapes and environments and EHP teams will continue to do their bit to help keep them intact,” Mr Byrne said.

    “Our laws and regulations are designed to avoid or minimise the impacts to all aspects of our environment including to air, land, water, noise, waste and heritage places.

    “I am pleased to report most operators in Central Queensland continue to do the right thing,” he said.

    There were 972 field inspections conducted last year, an average of 20 inspections per compliance centre per month. Field inspections involved 842 different locations operated by 302 different businesses. Enforcement action resulted from 25 per cent of inspections in the region.

    Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said 50 EHP field officers are deployed year round from offices in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Maryborough, Emerald and Roma, making sure the environment is protected from harm.

    “Staff plan and undertake inspections on operators that hold environmental authorities with EHP to ensure they are complying with the conditions of their approval, and in turn environmental, heritage or coastal laws,” Mr Butcher said.

    Mr Butcher said 83 per cent of Central Queensland inspections were the result of proactive planning and the implementation of a systematic, strategic compliance program.

    “While this is the case, EHP also respond to emergent situations where required,” Mr Butcher said.

    “Last year the Central Queensland community was fantastic by reporting complaints and information through our Pollution Hotline - 1300 130 372 - about potential environmental breaches, and we responded to incidents as swiftly as possible,” he said.

    ENDS

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