Legislative Council Wednesday 23 August 2017
Ms FORREST question to ACTING LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
Regarding water quality in Queenstown, including the water that flows into Macquarie Harbour -
(1) Has any testing of the water that leaves the Mount Lyell mine site and runs through the town been conducted?
(a) If so,
(i) when was the testing conducted;
(ii) at what points was testing done; and
(iii) what were the results of these tests?
(b) If not, in view of significant concern about the discolouration of water flowing through the town, as illustrated in an aerial photograph provided to the Acting Leader's office, and into Macquarie Harbour, will testing be undertaken as a matter or urgency?
Mr Deputy President, I thank the member for Murchison for her question.
Copper Mines of Tasmania - CMT - monitors an extensive suite of analytes as required under its permit conditions. Haulage Creek is the primary route of pollutants from the Mt Lyell mine into the Queen River. The vast majority of this pollution is derived from historical mining, which is the responsibility of the state Government.
Haulage Creek is monitored at least weekly for most parameters. The Queen River is monitored upstream and downstream of Haulage Creek on a quarterly basis. CMT is not required to monitor the King River or Macquarie Harbour.
Monitoring results in the Queen River show a long-term decreasing trend in the concentration of copper, the main pollutant of concern. Other parameters show variable results over time.
With regard to discolouration in the Queen River, I am advised that heavy iron precipitation occurs below the confluence of Haulage Creek and the Queen River. The location of this discolouration varies depending upon factors such as acidity, pH and iron levels, which are in turn affected by rainfall events.Go Back