Wandoan set to be swallowed up by coal mine
The small town of Wandoan is set to become the second Queensland town to be swallowed up or, at best, made unlivable by an open cut coal mine.
The 350 residents of the small Queensland township of Wandoan will be waiting with bated breath for the publication of the Coordinator General’s report due out in the next week or two. The mine’s owner, the giant mining corporation Xstrata, will extract about 30 million tonnes per annum from the Wandoan mine for a period of 30 years, leading to an extra 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum in our atmosphere.
The mine is due to be situated just to the west of Wandoan and could come within 600 metres of the town. Mining can legally occur as little as 100 metres from a residence.
The project will comprise a number of open-cut pits, varying in area and depth, and the coal will be mined using dragline, truck and excavator or shovel equipment. The coal will be crushed, processed and blended on site before being transported to port for export.
Friends of the Earth spokesperson Drew Hutton said the air pollution from the proposed mine would make life unlivable for the 500 residents of the town and those living in the surrounding countryside.
“We have seen with coal mining in other areas around the country how dust from coal mines and transportation impacts on human health and, with this mine so close to residents, we are likely to see rising levels of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” Mr Hutton said.
“It is next to impossible to live next to a coal mine and we are concerned Wandoan will become a ghost town within a few years and the massive investment local farmers have put into their properties will be lost.”