Latest News

Local Labor reps move to protect Clarence River from mining and dams

Geoff Helisma|

Each of the items put forward by the Lower Clarence branch of Country Labor was adopted at the Country Labor conference held in Singleton on the weekend of February 29 and March 1.

Protecting the Clarence River from threats posed by “mining leases and exploratory mining leases,” topped the list.

Country Labor supported the motion to: “…develop a comprehensive policy for issuing mining leases and exploratory mining leases in catchments of all NSW rivers to ensure the protection of the environmental and functional life of these rivers.

“This is particularly pertinent in the Clarence at this time.”

The motion’s adoption resulted in a recommendation “to support a safe, strong, sustainable, responsible and well-regulated mining sector in NSW”.

Regarding building dams on the Clarence River, the conference endorsed the branch’s motion as it was put: “That Country Labor Conference rejects proposals to dam any part of the catchment of the Clarence River in order to deliver water to the irrigators west of the divide.”

The outcome regarding the restoration of the Nymboida hydroelectric plant was also endorsed as put: “…NSW Labor explore means of restoring the Nymboida hydro-electric plant – not just to expand the provision of renewable energy but to reinvigorate what had been a vibrant tourist facility for kayaking and other river activity.”

Other successful motions put by the Lower Clarence branch were:

  • A full review of the community transport scheme in NSW;
  • A full review of disaster management … involving federal, state and local governments and their departments;
  • Condemn the NSW Nationals for the deliberate misleading of voters in country NSW with their promise of a $250 Regional Seniors Travel card; and,
  • NSW Labor to move for the provision of extra scheduled professional development days for teachers.

Lower Clarence Branch spokesperson Christine Robertson said each of the recommendations will now be debated at the NSW Labor Annual Conference on July 18 and 19.