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

What the petitioners hope to achieve

Geoff Helisma

On Thursday October 14, the NSW House of Representatives “noted” Clarence Catchment Alliance’s petition, which calls for a ban on mining and mining exploration in the Clarence catchment and surrounds.

The cessation of mining and associated exploration would require changes to existing legislation and policies; CCA hopes to achieve:

  • the addition of the Clarence Catchment to Schedule 1 (Prohibited Development) of the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 so that mineral mining and mining exploration is formally listed as prohibited development within the LGA and surrounding areas that feed our water source;
  • amendments to the NSW Mining Act 1992 to exclude mining from areas of unique and high conservation value, from water catchment areas, and in areas of cultural significance, such as those here in our area;
  • the cancellation of the 40+ existing Exploratory Licences (ELs) within the Clarence Catchment; and,
  • the recognition of the Clarence Valley’s high conservation value, the importance of the area for threatened species and ecological communities, such as the Eastern Freshwater Cod and Koala, and the cultural, social, and economic significance of our river systems on which the proposed mines sit.

“We as a community are well aware of the alarming track record mining has on the environment, in particular on waterways and catchments, and the towns alongside them,” a CCA media release states.

“We cannot afford to ignore the well-documented evidence of tailings dam failure here in Australia and around the world and we cannot trust them in our high rainfall and flood-prone region.”