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.

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