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A large gold mining operation (Mining license MIN5349) has secretively been given the go ahead in the Wombat State Forest (Victoria, Australia); 2km south of the Bullarto township, in the headwaters of the Heritage listed Lerderderg River. The four hectare open cut mine (half a kilometre long, 100 metres wide and 20 metres deep) has been approved without public consultation.
Given the proposed mines proximity to Crowley Creek and the Lerderderg River, the operation raises issues about erosion, sedimentation and heavy metal contamination of these waterways.
The site is currently covered by forest and provides habitat for a range of native fauna. All native vegetation will be totally destroyed, as well as a large number of wombat burrows that also occur on the site, and we presume along with the wombats that reside in them.
Wombat Forestcare has been led to believe that a small bond of $30,000 is to be paid and considers this to be totally inadequate to ensure that the proposed site is rehabilitated. There are many examples where small mining companies have come in, extracted the gold then the company folds, leaving rehabilitating the site up to the taxpayers.
If the mine goes ahead over 5,000 tonnes of extracted material will be trucked to Maldon for processing. These large trucks undertaking hundreds of trips will be travelling through Bullarto and past the local primary school, yet it appears that no Bullarto residents were consulted. The trucks will then undertake the 80km round trip damaging our local roads. It will be Hepburn residents that will have to foot the bill for road repairs not the mine owners.
Please help to protect the forests, native wildlife and waterways from unnecessary mining destruction by signing our petition.
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