24 hours to go! Over 1000 ACF supporters have written a personal submission against expanding coal mining in Sydney’s drinking water catchments. Will you speak out before public comments close at 5pm on Monday?
Sydney’s drinking water catchments nourish life for millions of people. Can you believe there are plans to expand underground coal mining in them?
Sydney is the only city in the world that allows longwall mining in its public water catchments. These special areas are so protected, a wandering bushwalker would cop a $44,000 fine.
Yet Wollongong Coal plans to expand the Russell Vale mine with eight new longwalls perilously close to the Cataract Reservoir, recklessly risking damage to your drinking water.
The company is seeking approval from Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the mine expansion is now open for public comment.
Longwall mining at the existing Russell Vale mine.
Will you make a public comment on Wollongong Coal’s Environmental Impact Statement?
If thousands of people from NSW write to the company, they are required to summarise all of the comments and send them to the federal environment department. That’s why we want you to write your own unique comments, with your own unique concerns about the risks to water and endangered species. You don’t need to be an expert. Just explain why you care.
Even NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, recognised that, “the Special Areas of Sydney’s Water Catchment are the most sensitive and important areas for securing our drinking water supply.”
The Illawarra Mercury reported: “The government has acknowledged the potential for cracks to form in the riverbeds of water-storing swamps and other sensitive areas of the Cataract Dam catchment area.”
The water catchment is home to many threatened animals including the Southern Brown Bandicoot and the Giant Burrowing Frog. The mine threatens the Endangered Coastal Upland Swamps where the Giant Burrowing Frog lives. Like us, frogs depend on water to live.
In times of reduced rainfall, the swamps protect Sydney’s drinking water supply by storing vital water.
“Clouds move in off the sea, hit the Illawarra escarpment and dump their rain, which then flows down into the lakes, creeks, rivers and swamps of the drinking water catchment,” says local resident Kaye Osborn, who has stood up to Wollongong Coal for over 5 years with Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining.
When Kaye collected a jar of water from the creek near the existing mine to take to a public meeting, it was black.
“This catchment is part of a system supplying 4.6 million residents of Greater Sydney. The potential gains from Wollongong Coal’s mine are limited and short term. It’s not worth risking this incredible natural drinking water.”
Stand with Kaye and local residents. Make a comment against the Russell Vale mine expansion.
Thanks for being part of this,
Healthy Ecosystems Campaigner
Australian Conservation Foundation
P.S. Are you happy to share your thoughts and opinions about how ACF communicates? We want to know more about what engages you. We’re holding a Sydney focus group – on Tuesday 26 May, 6:00-7:30pm in Ultimo. Please register your interest.