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New Acland expansion will not impact health: expert

A HEALTH expert has been quizzed in court about the health impacts that stage three of New Acland Mine could cause.

Dr David McKenzie gave evidence at a Queensland Land Court hearing in Brisbane on Tuesday about how he did not believe there would be any health impacts from the proposed mine's expansion as current and predicted air quality levels were within the guidelines.

He also said he did not believe there would be any health issues for residents or those outside the exclusion zone when it came to blasting.

"I believe that the air quality will be good, it will be well within any kind of stringent guidelines and I don't believe that there will be any measurable health impacts," Dr McKenzie said.

New Acland Mine and a group of residents within the Oakey Coal Action Alliance are locked in the legal battle in the Queensland Land Court.

When cross-examining Dr McKenzie on Tuesday, barrister Saul Holt, representing one of the objectors, said if the third stage of the mine did not go ahead, nearby residents would be able experience to noise and dust levels similar to what they were before the mine was built.

Mr Holt also asked Dr McKenzie to consider talking about the concerned residents as people, not statistics, and asked if he had been provided with any demographic information about the residents.

Dr McKenzie said he had and that the residents were a mixed community of children, elderly and working people.

Mr Holt also asked Dr McKenzie if he knew whether surveys and specific studies into the community's concerns had been undertaken.

"I don't believe so," Dr McKenzie replied.

He also said New Acland had conducted a survey which involved speaking to doctors, ambulances and the local hospital.

Dr McKenzie also spoke about particles known as PM10 (particles 10 micrometres or less in diameter) and PM2.5 (particles 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter and also known as fine particles).

When asked about various reports, Mr Holt asked Dr McKenzie that when it came to human health, whether we should be erring on the side of caution.

"Yes, I think we do," he replied.

The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday. - ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  acland expert health



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