BIG CHANGES: The proposed coal mine could see the revival of the defunct Kingaroy rail line, potentially leaving the future of the Dickabram Bridge in doubt.
BIG CHANGES: The proposed coal mine could see the revival of the defunct Kingaroy rail line, potentially leaving the future of the Dickabram Bridge in doubt.

Proposed mine could see the return of Kingaroy rail line

A PROPOSED thermal coal mine for the Kingaroy region will include a transport corridor stretching over 130 kilometres to join the rail line at Theebine.

Part of the detailed proposal from MRV Tarong Basin Coal, a subsidiary of Moreton Resources, includes a dedicated rail line and/or slurry pipeline running across 131 kilometres of the western Gympie region.

This transit corridor will pass through Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon, Goomeri and Kilkivan before adjoining at Theebine.

The proposed area that will be affected under the South Burnett Coal Project.
The proposed area that will be affected under the South Burnett Coal Project. Contributed

This would likely result in the reopening of the defunct rail line there, which may propose a risk to heritage listed sites, including the renowned Dickabram Bridge near Miva.

"It concerns me if there'll be regular freight across this bridge,” says concerned Gympie region resident John Cameron.

"Will they be reinforcing the Dickabram, or tearing it down to build something stronger?”

Opposition to the project has been fierce from local community groups.

"We're taking this proposal very seriously,” says John Dalton from the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group.

"There are a number of major concerns we have, especially with how things have gone here in the past - and these are issues that'll affect Gympie as well.”

Topping this list of concerns is the potential health impact airborne coal dust will have on the health of locals living along the proposed transit corridor.

"The town of Kingaroy is four km away from the proposed mine site, and there are a large number of people who live along this proposed line,” Mr Dalton says.

"One of the best ways to create coal dust is by transporting it, so it's not a stretch to think we'll see it spread along that line.”

The project has been assessed as a 'controlled action', meaning it has the potential to have a significant impact on environmental matters, and requires further approval.

Therefore, the Department of State Development has released the draft terms of reference for the mine, which covers all the areas of impact MRV Tarong Basin Coal must address when preparing their environmental impact statement.

The general public can comment on whether this draft adequately covers the issues to be addressed in this impact statement.

The submission deadline is 5pm November 14, and can be found at statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/south-burnett-coal-project.html

Gympie Times


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