Sunday, June 15, 2008

Focus on Hodgson Creek

Guests at last week’s Friends of Felton meeting were Dr Mark Silburn, a senior hydrologist and Dr Richard Cresswell, a hydroechemist, who talked about the work they have been doing around Hodgson Creek.

The Hodgson Creek catchment area is 566 square kms, has over 1400 private bores and 24 monitoring bores. The group heard that the discharge/recharges cycles change with the wet/dry periods, and that although groundwater levels do respond to rainfall events, the time taken can vary from weeks to 9 months depending on soil type.

Hodgson Creek is unusual in that it flows 90% of the time, more than expected in Queensland with evaporation levels. Work has been done to measure the age of the water entering the creek to identify the different sources.

The effect of a possible mine on discharge and flow rates was discussed, as well as the sodic and salinity issues of the Dalby coal seam water, which has been mentioned as possibly being used by Ambre Energy for their proposed hybrid energy plant.

In other matters, Friends of Felton representatives had a very productive meeting with the Mines Minister, Geoff Wilson, which was arranged by Stuart Copeland. The Minister listened to the group’s concerns and assured the group that when an Environmental Impact Statement needs to be collated for a mining application, the rules would be followed.

The stands by Friends of Felton at the two World Environment Day functions in Toowoomba were well received, and with brochures available at the AgForce site at Farmfest, the concerns of Friends of Felton are reaching a wider audience. Lorraine Seipel’s photographic display of the Felton Valley was very popular, and will be on general display soon.

A number of Friends of Felton members have been contacted by the ABC’s 7.30 Report to be part of a story filmed this week on the conflict between farming and mining.

This week’s slogan is : Farmers are great, It’s the mining we hate

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 24th June at 7pm at the Felton Hall : all welcome.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Recent Developments

Friends of Felton (FOF) chairman Rob McCreath has been in contact with Ambre Energy regarding their latest plans for the Felton mine and hybrid energy plant. It appears Ambre Energy have no set date for the release of their updated Initial Advice Statement (IAS). FOF are waiting to see the details of Ambre Energy’s revised plans for the hybrid energy plant so as to reassess the impact to the Felton Valley.

A delegation from FOF met with the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) in Millmerran to voice their concerns and ask for TRC support. The council appeared surprised at the planned scale of the mine and plant, with production to reach 24 million tonnes of coal a year, and FOF felt the council was very much in support of their view that it is time a line in the sand was drawn as regards mining in this area. The suggested line runs between Millmerran and Acland, and FOF asked that no planning applications for mining or any energy plant be approved east of that line.

The photographic project put together by Lorraine Seipel was displayed at the meeting, and the attendees were very impressed by the presentation and quality of the display. This will be seen at the World Environment Day functions in Toowoomba on Sunday 1 June.

This week’s slogan is : Petro Chemcials Out, We Need Farmers Without Doubt

The next meeting will be on Thursday 12th June at 7pm at the Felton Hall : all welcome