Shock at Damage to Sydney Drinking Water Catchment Areas

Shock at mining damage to Cordeaux Catchment
by Stop Mining in Sydney Drinking Water Catchments (Notes) on Saturday, 6 July 2013 at 00:14

Below a recent media statement from John Wrigley, a retired manager for Sydney Water, following an inspection of Cordeaux dam.


Shock at Damage to Sydney Drinking Water Catchment Areas

July 2013



A recent inspection of the damage apparently caused by long-wall coal mining on the Cordeaux Catchment Area of Sydney and the Macarthur area’s water supply has shocked a former catchment manager.


John Wrigley who worked for twenty four years managing the areas was horrified to see the devastation caused to the natural bushland areas above the coal mining. “I saw previously beautiful waterfalls and ponds now totally dry, unnatural red staining of creek lines with iron leachates, dying vegetation and widespread cracking of natural rock surfaces. I urge more people to show an interest in seeing this damage to the beautiful catchments. We can no longer trust government decision-making of either political party to protect our catchments for posterity. In a series of appalling decisions, most of the catchments of Woronora, Cataract, Cordeaux, Avon and Nepean Dams are now in line for similar damaging treatment by mining companies. And no politician seems to care!


The irony is that these areas are closed to public visitation for good reason of prevention of pollution, but that the much more serious damage to the catchments’ integrity is being caused by the state government’s own decisions to allow this industrial-scale damage to occur.


Don’t just take my word for it. I urge our local state members of parliament and the public to come out and see these areas for themselves. After over one hundred years of careful protection they are otherwise in a beautiful condition. But ‘Blind Freddy’ can see the appalling damage the underground mining is doing to them. The damage can be easily seen, I believe, to be directly above where the latest Dendrobium Mine long-wall activities are, of the BHP Billiton-Illawarra Coal Company.  All the damage was predicted by witnesses and in submissions in the decision making process and which are now seen to have been correct. We can no longer leave it to government ‘experts’ who are often seen to be associated with the mining industry lobby and powerbrokers.”


John Wrigley OAM

BSc Forestry, Dip Environmental Studies.


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