Three evaporators in action at the Mt Morgan mine site.
Three evaporators in action at the Mt Morgan mine site. Kathleen Calderwood

Councillors lobby minister on toxic flow to Dee River

NATURAL Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps won't soon forget about the Mount Morgan Mine and the Dee River.

Six Rockhampton councillors travelled to Gladstone for the community cabinet to urge the State Government to get involved before it's too late.

Councillors were prompted into action after a Rockhampton resident, Tom Foster, spoke with councillors about the toxicity of the water overflowing from the abandoned gold mine into the Dee River.

The toxic water comes from crushed rock that has been mined for gold and dumped in valleys that became creeks after rain. The creeks flush toxins out of the crushed rock.

Deputy Mayor Tony Williams said Mr Cripps remarked on the number of councillors who had joined together to speak to him about the topic.

Mr Cripps's assistant minister, Lisa France, told councillors about the evaporative spraying that the department was using in six catchments to lower the water trapped in the mines.

But Cr Glenda Mather said the government was simply "chasing their tails".

She said not only did rain simply top the mine and catchments back up, spraying did not divert water away from the Dee River.

As part of their plan to tackle the issue, Cr Williams said councillors would also hear from Queensland Health on the mine and river water later this week.

Cr Williams said although Mount Morgan's water supply did not come from the Dee River, it was concerning that some people still swam in the river.

Councillors are also petitioning the Federal Government for funding to counter the problem.



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