Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Mining at what price?

The Daily Examiner Editor, David Bancroft, on 28 September 2011:

IT'S going to take a lot more than the 60 jobs the Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker tips would come to the region from mining in the headwaters of the Nymboida River to convince people it is a risk worth taking.
While states like Western Australia and Queensland are riding high on the economic benefits mining has brought there, it is tempting for other governments - at all levels and of all persuasions - to want to cash in on the act.
But before we open our doors to the miners we need to be fully aware of what we are potentially letting ourselves in for.
The 60 jobs are unlikely to be based in the Clarence. They are more likely where the mining is occurring in the Dorrigo area and will probably be serviced from Coffs Harbour or the metropolitan areas.
So the economic and employment benefits to the Clarence are likely to be incidental at best.
And they are not likely to last long.
These positions are finite and might last only a couple of years - perhaps less.
Then there are the risks.
Gold and antimony mining both have serious environmental risks and, if there was to be a spill it would be the industries of the Clarence that would be hit the hardest.
In short, the scenario seems to be there are likely to be few benefits but plenty of risks for the Clarence.
By all means we should explore anything that will provide employment, but we should not do that with our eyes closed to the possible dangers that might present.

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