Environment

Will dump 15m tonnes of salt waste in Murray-Darling headwaters hits roadblock

Controversial offers dump about 15m tonnes of salt and other waste near a creek in drought-stricken Queensland have hit an unexpected roadblock after the court ruled that planning approvals don’t let for trucks to park once your there.

Guardian Australia reported in October a study had learned that the dump, near to the capital of scotland – Chinchilla, north-west of Brisbane, carried a “considerable” chances of water contamination. Salt waste from coal seam gas operations is planned being stored under 100 metres from Stockyard Creek, from the headwaters within the Murray-Darling basin.

The proposal was first opposed because of the Western Downs regional council in 2016. The council approved the dump a few months later, following proponent, We Kando, launched court action.

This year We Kando launched another court application which demanded a declaration “that the parking of trucks (and associated trailers) in the exact location … is lawful, because that such usage is ancillary towards existing lawful uses”.

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The council opposed the court application. Last week the Queensland planning and environment court ruled the fact that application was “misconceived” and dismissed it.

We Kando has another case on the court docket, looking to overturn a council decision to reject plans for any dedicated truck storage facility.

The company could hardly be contacted for comment. Yet it’s understood legal court decision outcomes in a logistical difficulties for the power, which will take arrrsubstantial amountrrrof waste product from Queensland’s coal seam gas industry.

Carmel Flint, the coordinator of the anti-mining alliance Lock the Gate, said the legal court decision would be a “significant setback … that underscores the piecemeal and unsatisfactory nature for this project”.

Environmentalists have raised significant concerns around the storage facility, and argued that is required a federal environmental assessment.

In October Flint said the development highlighted broader issues with the coal seam gas industry, where proposals were approved without “a viable will address their waste”.

“Now farmers – end up with this salt dump proposal across the street from them,” she said. “What’s needed might be an urgent overview of waste management via the coal seam gas industry in Queensland.”

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Proponents are responsible for referring their plans for assessment below the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act when they are more likely to have a very significant affect on matters of national environmental significance, like water resources.

We Kando has never yet sought an exam underneath the EPBC Act. Guardian Australia has witnessed correspondence that confirms that your federal environment department has written to We Kando “to ensure these people were alert to their obligations”.

A report because of the University of recent South Wales environmental professor Stuart Khan found the possibilities of the salt storage dump contaminating groundwater and surface water was “over however long it takes is considerable”.

“The responsibility for managing these risks in the lon run will most likely be inherited by our children and grandchildren,” the report said.

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