The Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) has campaigned strongly for the past three years, educating the community on the potential threats posed by mining to our Clarence Valley environment, particularly water quality.
During that campaign, CCA volunteers diligently collected over 10,000 signatures on a petition calling for a ban on mining in the Clarence River catchment. That petition has been tabled in State Parliament and is scheduled for debate.
The Clarence Valley Council’s motion calling on the State Government to impose a moratorium on mining within the LGA, would have been partially prompted by that campaign, and the community support it generated.
The CCA took their concerns, via Zoom, to local State Member, Mr Gulaptis, on 23rd April, where he vigorously argued that mining should be allowed, with any risks effectively managed by the stringent conditions that would be imposed. He also indicated he would be speaking to the Parliamentary debate, arguing against a ban on mining in his electorate
So, when reading the ‘Northern Star’ the following day, specifically its article on the Dunoon Dam debate, the CCA team could be excused for being more than a little perplexed. The reason being, that on the very same day that Mr Gulaptis belittled the CCA’s campaign, and dismissed its 10,000-signature petition as NIMBYism, he is quoted as stating:
“… it is vital our communities have a clean and reliable water source.”, and then finished with: “It is often said that local government is the government closest to the people. Clearly that is not the case of the five elected councillors (that voted against the Dunoon Dam proposal) in this instance, who are ignoring the will of more than 10,000 constituents”.
Mr Gulaptis had previously been strongly critical of Clarence Valley Council, when it took notice of the more than 10,000 people who signed the CCA’s petition and called on the State Government to impose a moratorium on mining.
It seems that some politicians only feel a need to consider the will of their constituents if it happens to agree with their own philosophy.