Coast Environmental Alliance (CEA) is on the march again – this time in Wyong – to protest Wyong Coal’s Wallarah 2 longwall coal mine in the middle of Central Coast’s water catchment.
“Let’s unite to show that people power is much stronger than people in power,” said CEA organiser, Emma French.
More than 200 people rallied at the July march organised by CEA in Erina and they are hoping for an even bigger crowd to raise awareness of the South Korean government-backed mine which was approved recently by the NSW government.
French said this peaceful demonstration would be held outside Wyong council chambers at 2 Hely St, on Saturday, October 26, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
“There will be a few guest speakers then a colourful and musical march,” she said.
“We want to raise awareness of this coal mine that is only five minutes from Wyong and 20 minutes from Gosford and will create 28 years of non-stop destruction of our land, our air, our water and our children’s future.
“There are 16 known endangered species such as the yellow-bellied glider and the sheath-tailed bat, spotted tailed quoll as well as irreplaceable Aboriginal sites in the locality.
“This will be devastating to our area, so we must call on our official state representative, Adam Crouch, to stand up with us and represent the people he swore an oath to serve and call on the Liberal government to stop this mine from going ahead.
“The Liberal government knows full well there is a risk to our water that is why they have promised to stop it in the past.
“Then as soon as they were elected, they approved it.
“We also need our local elected leaders to publicly call on the State Government to stop this from going ahead.
Meanwhile, in Parliament last month, Central Coast MLC and NSW Greens spokesperson for Mining, Coal and Gas, Abigail Boyd, demanded answers about how the government would ensure protection of the Central Coast water catchment if the Wallarah 2 coal mine went ahead.
Boyd directed her questions to Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade, John Barilaro: “Will this government step up and ensure the drinking water for over 320,000 residents is protected by stopping the toxic Wallarah 2 coal mine?
“The short answer is that they won’t – the longer answer is they can’t.
“The Mining Act, due for review, is currently set up in such a way that it does not allow for the outright rejection of a mine when it risks a drinking water catchment.
“Asked about whether his government would be able, under the current Act to step in and protect a community such as the Central Coast from contamination from a coal mine, the Deputy Premier said no.
“The Wallarah 2 licence currently allows for 300 gigalitres of water to be removed from the Central Coast water catchment.
“To compensate, 300 megalitres of recycled mine water will be returned to the catchment each year.
“Not fresh water. Recycled mine water. Into our drinking water catchment.
“Despite knowing the risks posed to our community by this toxic coal mine, the Deputy Premier’s priority was having NSW as the mining investment centre of Australia.
“The truth is that this is a government that is wholly subservient to the mining industry.
“Wallarah 2 would be a disaster for our community – it will contaminate our drinking water, destroy our local environment and harm agriculture, tourism and the local economy.”
Media statement, Oct 2,
Emma French, Coast Environmental Alliance
Media release, Sept 13
Abigail Boyd MLC, NSW Greens spokesperson for Central Coast, Mining, Coal and Gas
Journalist, Sue Murray