Ban all Toxic Mineral and Gold Mining Exploration on the Dorrigo Plateau in New South Wales
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This petition aims to protect rivers, forest and farmland on the Dorrigo Plateau from the invasion of the mining industry.
The NSW government has allowed unrestricted mineral exploration in a number of east coast water catchments, including the Dorrigo plateau and surrounds.
The township of Dorrigo services a diverse farming, forestry, tourism and arts community with a rich local history. The Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Dorrigo National Park sits on the escarpment surrounded by scenic farmland on rich red basalt soils. Visitors to the area appreciate the scenic natural beauty, wildlife, bushwalks, farmland views and clear mountain waterfalls.
People who live and work in the rural landscape love the land and know the value of our natural assets. The recent NSW Draft Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land (BSAL) mapping, released in 2013, fails to protect valuable parts of the farming landscape. The Dorrigo Plateau needs a Strategic Regional Landuse Plan (SRLUP) to limit mining developments in the Clarence catchments.
In 2014 access to farmland by mining companies is being hotly debated in the NSW parliament; proposed amendments to mining legislation will favour mining companies ahead of public interest and the environment. Remind our government that community health and local economies are more important than mining profits.
Sign our petition … To protect the environment and the communities of the Dorrigo Plateau and adjacent water catchment regions from the destructive effects of mining activities by stopping all existing, pending and future mining exploration licences in the invaluable water catchments of the Dorrigo Plateau, which includes World Heritage Areas, State Forests and Reserves. (Currently mining exploration leases cover thousands of hectares of public and private land across the Dorrigo Plateau region.)
Our concerns are:
That mining is an inappropriate land use for the Plateau due to biodiversity, water quality and extreme rainfall events (and the downstream implication of this for the Clarence and its tributaries).
That the exploration lease area adjoins the Gondwana World Heritage area of Mt Hyland Nature Reserve. "World heritage sites have universal value that transcends the value they hold for a particular nation." The area is home to some of the most outstanding examples of biodiversity of the Great Eastern Ranges, with plant and animal lineages and communities that have remained relatively unchanged from their ancestors in the fossil record. This is the main habitat for many threatened species of plant and animal.
A majority foreign-owned company is exploring for heavy metals (Antimony, Copper, Gold and others) that are either toxic in themselves or the mining of which involves processes that have a risk of highly toxic pollution of waterways.
The negative impact of mining for minerals in high rainfall water catchments could include:
potential irreversible environmental degradation and pollution of waterways due to the inability to prevent toxic runoff entering them during high rainfall events. Blicks River, the site of the latest exploration licence, is one of the largest tributaries of the Nymboida River, which provides water to the Coffs-Clarence regional supply system, on which more than 80,000 people rely. It is mooted that gold is the most likely mineral at the site and may require open-cut techniques and the use of cyanide in the separation process - which may have the potential to destroy one of the most pristine water supplies in Australia.
Significant and unacceptable threats to agriculture, fisheries, tourism, human health and biodiversity.
Economic loss to landowners and the general community due to contamination and clean up.
The potential for increased heavy vehicle traffic on roads that are already degraded and narrow. These roads are used for local traffic, school buses, some through traffic and logging trucks. Additional truck movements would add to an already unacceptable situation. There could be an increased burden on residents and ratepayers both financially and in the increased risk of motor vehicle accidents in an area where maintenance of roads is already inadequate.
The potential for the social fabric of our community to be negatively affected by the influx of a 'fifo' workforce as has occurred in other mining regions of Australia and for the region's infrastructure to be overburdened.
The following links give more detail regarding our concerns:
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