Poll reveals 60% of online readers support New Hope Colton mine project at Aldershot Qld

New Hope Colton Mine gate image www.frasercoastcentral.com.au

IF THE New Hope Colton Mine near Aldershot goes ahead, it will have the support from Fraser Coast locals, according to our latest poll on the issue.

After the Chronicle posted a poll on www.frasercoastchronicle.com asking if readers thought an open cut mine should go ahead in Aldershot, 60% of voters said yes, with 39% saying no.

RELATED: Concerns raised about impact of Colton coal mine

Comments were left on the Chronicle’s website and Facebook page with the majority supporting the opening of the coal mine which would help boost local industry.

Sara Laycock said the Fraser Coast needed the economic injection that the coal could potentially provide.

“Yes there are negatives too, but I think the positives outweigh them.”

A number of readers commented on their excitement for the potential jobs created in the area if the mine opened.

Aldershot resident Ashie Weedz said “yes, yes, yes then at least my partner will be home instead of away working… We need this!”

Other readers strongly opposed the mine, saying it was only a short-term solution.

Macey Taylor showed concern about what would happen if or when the mine closed.

“Short term earnings and the company folds or moves on, then what?

“Look out west with their towns and they are much bigger than Aldershot – not in favour.”

Amy Cattermole said “nothing could be worse” than a coal mine opening.

“Would rather stay unemployed than ruin our beautiful planet anymore!”

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Henry Sapiecha

Drivers to win big with St Helens school lights and Torbanlea causeway funding

new traffic lights set for St Helen’s School image www.frasercoastcentral.com.au

DRIVERS were the big winners across the Fraser Coast, with new traffic lights set for St Helen’s School and upgrades to Bruce Hwy.

The Torbanlea causeway will also become a reality, with funding of $1.8 million. The project was announced but not funded by the former LNP government.

However, hopes of bringing back pathology to the Maryborough Hospital will not be realised just yet, with no funding announced to revive the service.

Instead the Bruce Highway, the environment  and people with complex health needs were  among the areas funded in the Wide Bay’s $668 million 2015-16 spend.

The multi-million dollar boost includes $572.5 million for health, utility, education and transport infrastructure; $37.7 million in disaster relief funding; and $14.5 million – or $58m over four years – to pay for school improvements.

About $19 million will go towards improving and maintaining sections of the Bruce Highway  between Maryborough and Gympie.

Access to Maryborough’s St Helen’s School will be improved with a $2.1 million set of traffic lights at a nearby intersection.

Environmental commitments included $630,000 for a new wastewater treatment system at  Dundabara in the Great Sandy National Park on Fraser Island.

Both Fraser Coast and Bundaberg councils will share $43,000 to tackle littering and illegal dumping.

About  $500,000 will be spent repairing the Mary River levees.

A total of $1.3 million will fund the replacement of  CT scanners at Hervey Bay and Bundaberg hospitals.

The Fraser Coast will also benefit from a region-wide commitment of   $2.2 million for cardiology services, $4.9 million for ophthalmology services and $2.7 million for other health care services.

Hervey Bay’s hospital emergency department will get a share of $20 million set aside to improve ERs across the state.

Other Wide Bay region pledges included $24.8 million for public housing, $6.8 million for homeless support  and $25,000 to help indigenous communities with cultural and conservation projects.

The Wide Bay covers Fraser Coast, Kingaroy, Nanango, Bundaberg and Gympie.

-APN Newsdesk 

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Henry Sapiecha

Start of mullet season snags up with problems

MULLET SEASON IS HERE AT THE FRASER COAST QLD AUSTRALIA Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet image www.frasercoastcentral.com

MIXED BAG: Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet. The traditional start to the 2015 mullet run is off to a patchy start for some fishermen on the Sunshine Coast who are hoping weather conditions will be more favourable soon.

COAST mullet fisherman Kevin Cannon’s small but experienced team has had a weather-delayed start to this year’s season.

Fishermen to his north and south have had success but so far, this winter has only provided the Mudjimba-based veteran “a little hatful”.

The ocean temperature has yet to drop to the suitable 20-degree mark and south- westerly winds which he desires are yet to blow in.

Traditionally, early June is when mullet start running in beach gutters.

“It doesn’t really look like we are going to get a south- westerly for a couple of weeks,” Mr Cannon said.

“It’s just been a case of wait and see.”

He had heard of good hauls at Caloundra as well as Noosa but as yet, no luck in between.

Mr Cannon, 67, said his crew members were aged 66 and 65 with the youngest member about 45.

He has been walking the beaches with nets since the late ’50s but struggles to see how younger generations could take up the craft.

He said the possibility of laws changing or restrictions being added meant it was unlikely banks would loan the money needed to get started.

“There’s no certainty in it for the young fellows,” he said.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness said the traditional winter migration of the sea mullet provided commercial operators with an important opportunity and netting activity had already escalated.

“Seafood wholesalers should have a plentiful supply of fresh local mullet,” Mr Bowness said. “It is a commercially important species and although inspections show high levels of compliance with fisheries regulations, including fish size, licensing, net length and mesh size, QBFP will be in the region to monitor activity.”

Mr Bowness asked recreational fishers to allow commercial netters to conduct their activities safely during the mullet run by giving them room to operate.

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Henry Sapiecha