Clean bill of health for city's coal trains

A GOVERNMENT study into coal dust has found particles have not reached toxic levels along the Ipswich train line.

The results come as the Queensland Resources Council announced a comprehensive coal dust management plan for south-east Queensland.

According to the Department of Environment, since September air quality monitor at Flinders View found dust particles did not enter dangerous levels.

QRC chairman Michael Roche said the coal industry commissioned air quality scientists at the Department of Science, Information Technology and the Arts (DSITIA) to independently assess both health and nuisance impacts of coal dust along the corridor.

"This is not about drawing a line under dust management as an issue but establishing a base from which industry can continue to meet and hopefully exceed community expectations," he said.

But the plan is not enough for Stop Brisbane Coal Trains spokesperson John Gordon.

He said the recent Senate Inquiry into air quality said the national air quality measures are "hopelessly inadequate".

Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the government believes high environmental standards can be maintained while working with industry.

"The plan gives industry a clear starting point to ensure community and environmental standards are not only met but could in fact improve," he said.

"It is encouraging to see the industry take steps that align with the Newman Government's agenda of being open, transparent and supportive of independent scientific input."

Action plan

  • Complete the veneering of coal trains by the end of the year
  • Fund 12 months of more monitoring and publish the results online
  • Inform communities on the report's findings and regular updates on the industry's performance


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