News

Gladstone suburb hit by chemical waste after failure at QAL

The refining process at QAL creates the toxic by-product 'red mud', which is stored in nearby dams (pictured). A gasket failure at QAL's refinery has caused waste material, which appears as a fine red spray, to disperse towards Sun Valley.
The refining process at QAL creates the toxic by-product 'red mud', which is stored in nearby dams (pictured). A gasket failure at QAL's refinery has caused waste material, which appears as a fine red spray, to disperse towards Sun Valley.

A MECHANICAL failure at Gladstone's QAL plant has released an unknown amount of chemical waste into a residential area.

A letter from the company to Gladstone residents advises a gasket at the site failed on Tuesday night.

It says this caused an unspecified amount of the waste material, which appears as a fine red spray, to disperse towards the suburb of Sun Valley.

A statement from QAL said the release consisted of a fine spray of red mud slurry generated during the digestion process.

The release posed no risk to health as the concentration was well below safe exposure levels, it said.

"The faulty unit was promptly shut down and QAL's First Response Team responded rapidly to the incident. No injuries occurred," the statement read.

"Regulatory authorities have been advised and a full incident investigation is underway."

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection says it is investigating the release of "an unknown amount of caustic fumes".

Executive director Reuben Carlos said following notification, EHP officers were immediately on site to assess the cause of the incident and extent of the impact.

"Caustic fumes have the potential to cause skin and respiratory irritation, damage paintwork of cars and houses and to impact on plant and animals," Mr Carlos said.

To date, there have been no reports of ill health associated with the incident.

QAL says neighbours who may have been affected by the incident have been notified.

Community members can contact QAL on 1800 181 110 if they have any queries or concerns.

Queensland Alumina's refinery in Gladstone is the largest in the world.

The refining process creates the toxic by-product 'red mud', which is stored in nearby dams.

Topics:  gladstone, qal, sun valley



Ipswich traffic cops prepared for huge weekend

Senior Sergeant Troy Hamilton is reminding people to drive safely this Christmas period. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

Police out in force as holiday makers come home

West Moreton's $8 million health budget blow out

The latest performance results are out for Ipswich Hospital. Photo in operating theatre.
Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times

Pressure mounts on financially strained service

AWLQ breaks its silence on controversial pound deal

The Ipswich pound and rehoming centre will be run by RSPCA after September 30.

Animal Welfare League Queensland has written a letter to you.

Local Partners

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight

Mahershala Ali in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E2: Code of the Streets review

Simone Missick and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Kim Kardashian West 'sick of talking about Taylor Swift'

Kim Kardashian West is sick of talking about Taylor Swift.

Justin Bieber ordered to attend Miami deposition

Justin Bieber has been ordered to travel to Miami for a deposition

Sludge metal heaven served up across Australia

Black Rheno bring their stripped back sludge metal through regional Australia.

Black Rheno to hit a town near you

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets