Group calls for independent inquiry into coal dust pollution

AN action group is calling for an independent inquiry into coal dust as the Government announced testing on the Ipswich line will begin next year.

The Newman government is currently working to finalise a regular air-quality monitoring program, with sites along the Ipswich line to be tested.

A Department of Main Roads spokesman said testing is due to begin early next year with the first results expected mid-2013. The testing sites are yet to be finalised.

Environment Minister Andrew Powell and New Hope have also announced veneering would begin on coal train wagons.

Despite the announcements, Stop Brisbane Coal Trains spokesman John Gordon said an inquiry was needed to examine coal loading practices to its shipment by rail.

"Both the coal industry and the Queensland Government have demonstrated they are incapable of meaningful action regarding these trains," he said.

It's truly like groundhog day to hear all these false promises trotted out time and time again.

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) executive director Andrew Connor said network-wide monitoring is one part of the coal dust management plan.

"The test results found dust levels do not exceed national standards," he said.

"However the EHP is aware that the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail are working with industry to install coal dust monitoring equipment at specific locations along the West Moreton train line corridor to monitor coal dust on an ongoing basis."

The management plan includes the rail line and port activities and will provide additional monitoring results over a longer period.

Topics:  coal dust, new hope, stop brisbane coal trains

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