QAL charged with caustic spew over Gladstone homes, cars

QUEENSLAND Alumina Ltd quickly apologised to residents of South and West Gladstone for a potential environmental hazard after a large scale caustic leak.

But the State Government will take the incident to court in Gladstone next month.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is alleging QAL caused wilful serious environmental harm as a result of a release of caustic vapour into the atmosphere from its Gladstone plant on June 10 last year.

>>QAL caustic leak 'extremely rare' because of its size

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The matter received a brief mention in Gladstone Magistrates Court this week and was adjourned by agreement.

Just two days after the caustic leak, QAL sent out apology letters to residents of some areas of the city.

At the time, a QAL spokesman described it as "an extremely rare event" with no concerns over health impacts.

QAL Refinery in Gladstone. Photo Tom Huntley / The Observer
QAL Refinery in Gladstone. Photo Tom Huntley / The Observer Tom Huntley GLA080512REFI

Wind modelling on the day, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, did show some parts of South and West Gladstone may have been affected, with the potential to damage motor vehicles.

QAL vowed to work with residents who may have been affected.