Last chance to fight

Western Times - - LIFE - Brooke Dun­can Brooke.Dun­can@chin­chillanews.com.au

A SMALL but de­ter­mined group of res­i­dents are mak­ing a last-ditch ef­fort to stop toxic CSG waste be­ing stored near wa­ter sources just out­side Chin­chilla.

We Kando, the com­pany oper­at­ing the En­gine Rd waste fa­cil­ity less than 20km from town, re­ceived the nec­es­sary ap­provals from the state govern­ment and Western Downs Re­gional Coun­cil back in 2014 and 2016.

The ap­provals al­low for toxic CSG waste – the salt and slurry that set­tles on the base of waste ponds – to be stored at the fa­cil­ity, which neigh­bours pri­or­ity agri­cul­tural land and is less than 50m from Stock­yard Creek, a wa­ter course that feeds into the Mur­ray Dar­ling catch­ment.

The group of res­i­dents, known as the Cameby Con­cerned Cit­i­zens Group (CCCG), have been fight­ing against the ap­provals for years, and now they’re down to their last chance – fed­eral ac­tion by Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources, David Lit­tleproud.

CCCG, work­ing with Lock the Gate (a na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion al­liance) re­ceived a re­port just this July, com­mis­sioned by the En­vi­ron­men­tal De­fend­ers Of­fice and com­pleted by Univer­sity of NSW Pro­fes­sor Stu­art Khan.

Prof Khan con­cluded the pro­ject was high risk for wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion – es­pe­cially over the life of the fa­cil­ity – which would stretch into the decades.

That re­port, along­side one col­lated by Doc­tors for the En­vi­ron­ment, pro­vided what CCCG mem­ber Glen Beasley de­scribed as an ob­jec­tive, sci­en­tific ba­sis to have the fa­cil­ity eval­u­ated and, ide­ally, moved away from agri­cul­ture and wa­ter re­sources.

Mr Beasley got in­volved with the CCCG about two years ago. His prop­erty is close to the We Kando fa­cil­ity.

PHOTO: BROOKE DUN­CAN

GROUP EF­FORT: Glen Beasley is lob­by­ing David Lit­tleproud to in­ter­vene in their fight to stop 'We Kando' from ac­cept­ing toxic byprod­ucts of CSG ac­tiv­ity.

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