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Minister visits Chinchilla to meet with Hopeland landowners

20 March 2015

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown took the opportunity to join Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Dr Steven Miles on his visit to Chinchilla yesterday.

Minister Miles, accompanied by Director-General of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Mr Jon Black, flew into town to personally meet with Hopeland landholders impacted by ongoing investigations in relation to the causes and scale of soil contamination in the area.

Mayor Ray Brown said investigations commenced early February when routine soil testing detected gases including carbon monoxide, hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide at depths of between two and six metres underground.

“More than 100 staff from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, other government departments, consultants and environmental experts are currently engaged in ongoing investigations directed at identifying where the gases are coming from,” he said.

“Immediate concerns in relation to air and water quality in the area have been addressed with all test results to date showing that air and water within the excavation caution zone remain safe.

“I was reassured with the whole of government approach towards the investigation and the resources being invested to employ the best science available.

“It’s evident that the EHP is working closely with landholders, keeping them updated on the process as well as sharing results and information as it comes to hand.

“This issue is being taken very seriously. The Minister gave his assurance to landholders and the community that investigations will continue until the cause of the contamination is determined and an agreed management plan has been made.”

For the latest information on testing at Hopeland and Chinchilla please visit www.ehp.qld.gov.au or email the Department on EHPInvestigation@ehp.qld.gov.au.
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