Coal mine criticism labelled 'cheap grab for headlines'

THE Queensland mining lobby has hit back at claims several coal mines proposed for central Queensland will damage groundwater in the Galilee Basin.

Criticism comes after the Lock the Gate Alliance published a study showing a raft of new mines could remove water from aquifers in central Queensland equivalent to two and half times the water in Sydney Harbour.

But Queensland Resources Council Michael Roche on Monday labelled the criticism "a cheap grab for headlines".

He said the report sought to portray the "instantaneous development" of the Galilee Basin project, despite only one project being approved thus far.

But Mr Roche made no criticism of a key former Queensland Government official who backed the claims contained in the report.

Former general manager of water planning and allocation Tom Crothers said he had grave concerns about the potential impacts of the projects.

He said the new mines, including Waratah Coal's China First and GVK-Hancock Coal's Alpha projects, would threaten groundwater in the region.

Mr Roche said to date the development of the resources sector in Queensland had brought increased water security to the regions, despite some of the Galilee proposals needing to rely on water trucked in to service the proposed mines.