Opposition slams LNP over mine water release revelations
UPDATE: Environment Minister Andrew Powell has responded to Minister Trad's mine water accusations.
"This government has always been open and transparent with all central Queensland communities in relation to mine water releases", Minister Powell said.
"It is disappointing to see that Labor's shadow environment minister has been so busy making baseless claims in the media, she hasn't found time to go online and see for herself exactly how accountable we are.
"I have spoken to the Mayor of Banana Shire Ron Carige about this issue and taken his feedback on board.
"While the opposition will continue to spin and scaremonger the Newman government will continue to work with local communities to ensure the best outcomes for people of central Queensland."
EARLIER: Secrecy around mine water releases in Central Queensland by the LNP Government has been labelled a betrayal and a "fundamental breach of trust" by the State Opposition.
The broadside from Shadow Environment Minister Jackie Trad follows revelations published by APN after an investigation into mine water releases from the Anglo American owned Callide Mine south-west of Gladstone.
Callide mine was found to have released 519 million litres of discharge into Dunn Creek - a waterway which flows into the Callide Dam, a reservoir supplying drinking water to the nearby town of Biloela.
Despite having the information, Environment Minister Andrew Powell and his department failed to pass on the knowledge to Banana Shire Council, which treats the water.
There was no indication that supplies were contaminated.
Minister Powell said his department would inform communities if it considered the water quality an issue.
He said data on these discharges were available on www.fitzroyriver.qld.gov.au, although the site gave no detail on the volumes being released.
Banana mayor Ron Carige said he and his water treatment team deserved to know about the discharges.
His stance was bolstered by the Local Government Association of Queensland which on Monday demanded the government implement new policy ensuring councils and communities were told when their water supplies were potentially tainted by industrial water.
Ms Trad said Central Queensland should feel betrayed by the Minister's actions.
"It is appalling that the Newman Government, in particular Environment Minister Andrew Powell, would try to conceal releases totalling more than 500 million litres of mine water into a Central Queensland catchment," she said.
"The government has been claiming its handling of the release of mine water is based on openness and communication with regional communities, councils and other relevant organisations.
"Now we discover the Banana Shire Council was told nothing of releases of more than 500 million litres of water into Callide Dam from the Callide mines owned by Anglo American."