From the Newsroom

It took three years to collect this bag full of petitions, containing 10,433 signatures, which was due to be debated in the NSW Legislative council on August 5, however, Covid had other ideas. The August sitting dates are cancelled and are due to recommence on September 7 (dependent on Covid restrictions). Image: Contributed

Coffs council backs CVC’s anti-mining stance

Geoff Helisma|

Coffs Harbour City Council is the fourth council to nominate its support for Clarence Valley Council’s opposition to mining in the Clarence River catchment.

In November 2020, Clarence Valley Council (CVC) resolved to seek the support of both state and federal governments, to impose a moratorium on further mining exploration licences and to cancel existing licences.

At the August 26 meeting of Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC), it resolved to “support the adopted stance taken by Clarence Valley Council to oppose mining in areas affecting the Clarence River catchment” and that the “mayor write to the Clarence Valley Council mayor, advising of Coffs Harbour City Council’s support of their stance on opposing mining on the Clarence River catchment”.

Seven of eight councillors supported Cr Denise Knight’s mayoral minute and, as a result, Cr Paul Amos’s foreshadowed motion – “That Coffs Harbour City Council support all NSW local Government areas in opposing any activities in the proximity of their respective drinking water catchments that may impact on the purity of that drinking water.” – was not considered.

Coffs Harbour, Glenn Innes, Bellingen and Byron councils have nominated support for CVC’s anti-mining stance; Tenterfield Shire Council voted against joining CVC.

Armidale Regional Council considered its “position in relation to the request from Clarence Valley Council for a moratorium on mining and mining exploration in the Clarence River catchment” at its May 26 meeting.

However, ARC’s councillors were unanimous in taking no specific action and, instead, “received and noted” CVC’s request.

Clarence Valley council’s first mayor, Ian Tiley, who is currently ARC’s mayor and is registered to run in the forthcoming CVC election, declared an interest and did not participate in discussion about the matter.

Speaking with the Independent, Cr Tiely said he supported CVC’s decision to oppose mining in the catchment.

“I support that call, it’s a call of council for good reason and was supported by a majority of councillors; I support the call for a moratorium,” he said.