Grazier Nick Dudarko on one of the original bores built by his father and grandfather in the 1930s on one of the natural springs on his property. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph
Grazier Nick Dudarko on one of the original bores built by his father and grandfather in the 1930s on one of the natural springs on his property. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph Andrew Thorpe

Farmers concerned mine will impact water table

THE proposed Boundary Hill South extension to Callide mine is causing significant concern among farmers who stand to be negatively affected by the new mining operation.

Nick Dudarko, whose family settled in the region in 1928, runs cattle and a mix of crops on his property near the proposed site.

His farm relies on water that flows directly to the surface via natural springs from the underground water table, making the area prime agricultural land.

"That water is at 40m - they're going to be mining down much further than that through the sandstone. It's not going to reach anywhere near the surface once they're done," Mr Dudarko said.

Far from being opposed to mining, Mr Dudarko points out that he did 25 years of exploration for the current mine.

"I was the first dozer on Boundary Hill," he said. "I don't want to take away anyone's livelihood - I'm just against where they're trying to put this mine.

"It will ruin the land for everyone here for hundreds of years, all for 35-40 years of ... short-term gain for them. The destruction in the long-term is going to be massive."

Fiona and Alan Hayward live on the historic Kilburnie property near the proposed mine site, and are also concerned about the potential depletion of the water table.

"As graziers we feel that we have done a good job of maintaining a sustainable industry here in Banana Shire for well over a hundred years," said Fiona.

"We're working with them, but we're very concerned about the groundwater because we've got one bore that's in the precipice sandstone that waters our whole property.

"In very dry times our dams won't necessarily have water in them, so that bore is a really reliable source."

They are also concerned about potential damage to their property, built by Fiona's family in 1880.

"Because Kilburnie is a heritage-listed homestead with the National Trust, they have to reasonably prove that their blasting isn't going to wreck the homestead," Mr Hayward said.

Peter and Rhonda Selmanovic have lived adjacent to the existing Boundary Hill mine for a long time, but have only recently run into issues as mining moved down towards Campbell Creek.

"It's just non-stop. The noise and dust have been phenomenal," Mr Selmanovic said.

"We haven't been able to sleep properly for three years. It's ridiculous."

They want people living near the proposed site to understand the full impact the mine extension could have on them.

"You can't open your house up because everything inside just gets coated in dirt - I've only had two doors open these last few years," said Rhonda.

Anglo Coal has been granted an extension on its environmental report and is expected to submit it in March after further studies, according to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The Department will then complete its assessment and the public will be able to raise objections.


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