A NUMBER of legacy mine sites in Stanthorpe have been remediated by the Queensland state Government, improving safety standards for tourists of the Passchendaele State Forest.

In a statement released last week, minister for natural resources and mines Andrew Cripps said 17 mine shafts, six mine entrances and several drives had been excavated and backfilled at the behest of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines’ Abandoned Mines Unit.

“The old shafts are up to 10 metres deep and pose a potential risk to forestry workers and State Forest visitors, including fossickers, bushwalkers, birdwatchers, horse riders and bike riders,” Mr Cripps said.

“If a person had fallen into a shaft, or been in one of the tunnels when they collapsed, the consequences could have been fatal.”

The mines were associated with the Bright Hope Syndicate and Swiper’s Gully workings, mined periodically throughout the 20th century with the last mining lease expiring in 2007.

The unstable granitic soil across the sites increased the risk of collapse and injury, warranting the remediation project.

The project was carried out following consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland National Park rangers and HQ Plantations, which currently harvests timber in the area.