CONCERNS have been raised by the Banana Shire Council over aspects of Cockatoo Coal's proposed Taroom coal mine.
The distance of the buffer zone between Taroom and the mine and the proposed relocation of the Leichhardt Highway are among the key concerns the council raised in its submission to Cockatoo Coal Taroom's Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Through a community meeting organised by Councillor Vaughn Becker, discussions with the Taroom District Development Association and other community representatives and from information gathered at a public meeting held by Cockatoo Coal, the council has put together a list of concerns it wants addressed in the EIS.
Banana Shire director of planning, strategy and sustainability Michael Ball said the council's submission addressed about 20 issues but key concerns related to the buffer zone between the town and the mine, the proposal to relocate the highway, a heavy vehicle bypass and housing affordability.
Mr Ball said the community was concerned the buffer zone had not been adequately identified as a significant concern.
"There are concerns about noise, dust, light and blasting impacts on the small quiet rural community and its way of life."
Mr Ball said the community felt there should be a no-go buffer around Taroom to protect it from adverse impacts of the mine. He said a local group, Taroom Community Liaison Group, had a petition of about 300 signatures to support the need for a 10km buffer.
"One of the proposals involves re-routing the Leichhardt Highway which would involve a lot more travel time because the new route runs around the mine rather than straight through the lease and council are not too keen on that and cannot see why motorists should travel further just because of the mine," he said.
Mr Ball said that because of the project and other resource projects in the region the volume of heavy vehicles would increase and there was a high need for a high vehicle by-pass.
"The main street in Taroom has a sharp turn into the CBD and then travels up past the school and more trucks running up and down that doesn't make a lot of sense.
"The community is keen for heavy vehicles to bypass town but for light vehicles to continue travelling through town so businesses don't miss out on trade."
Mr Ball said several resource projects proposed for the Taroom area would create a significant demand for housing, infrastructure and community services.
"Banana Shire is a low growth rural council without the financial capacity to fund any increased demand created by others."
Other issues raised in the council submission included: impact of construction camps, rehabilitation of farming land, land acquisition, pests and weed management and the loss of Taroom town character.