Clarence River catchment under threat from greedy miners endorsed by NSW O'Farrell Government
Coffs Coast Independent 12 July 2012:
ACCORDING to the Mid North Coast Greens, five mining exploration licences cover the headwaters of the Orara and the Nymboida Rivers - which are the drinking water catchments for approximately 150,000 people between Yamba and Sawtell.
"Minerals known to occur in the ore bodies being targeted include mercury, antimony, arsenic and lead. All are highly toxic minerals that pose a great contamination risk to the water supply for the region," the MNC Greens said in a statement......
"The Dorrigo Plateau is renowned as the highest rainfall district in NSW. From Ulong and Lowanna to Dundurrabin these headwaters provide most of the flow to the mighty Clarence River," Dr Sally Townley, mayoral candidate for Coffs Harbour City Council said.
"These catchments not only supply drinking water, they are the lifeblood of the tourism industry, the fishing industry and the cane industry. In the tourism industry alone there are more than 3500 permanent jobs completely dependent upon the health of the Clarence River." ......
"Mineral exploration leases and exploration activities occurring across the catchments pose a real and present danger of mercury and lead contamination if urgent action is not taken," Dr Kaye said.
"The catchment is already carrying the legacy of a history of inappropriate mining at Wild Cattle Creek. The entire Macleay River is heavily contaminated with arsenic and antimony from mining at Hillgrove east of Armidale.
"Contamination is a one way street. Once heavy metals have poisoned a supply, it is almost impossible to protect the health of future users.
"The Dorrigo Plateau must be declared off-limits to mining and mineral exploration." ......