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March 1, 2021

Coal mining in catchment ‘wiping out drinking water’

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water-shutterstock_130619210A coalition of more than 50 community groups from across Sydney is calling for an end to long wall coal mining in Sydney’s drinking water catchments as another cracked river bed in the Waratah Rivulet drains water meant for Woronora Dam.

The Protect Sydney’s Water Alliance says the O’Farrell Government should order an independent study into the vanished water, but in the mean time, act decisively to protect Sydney’s drinking water from further coal mining.

The shocking new evidence of cracks in the Waratah Rivulet was published in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, with allegations that cracks were caused by underground coal mining in the area.

Alliance spokesperson, Isabel McIntosh, said ‘A big crack like this in the bedrock of a river is like pulling the plug out of a bath.

‘The government must halt all longwall mining in Sydney drinking water catchments and order an independent study into the vanished water,’ Ms McIntosh.

‘Every day, four long wall coal mines operate in the special areas of Sydney’s drinking water catchments, damaging the foundations of the river beds and pools that supply our water.

‘Waratah Rivulet provides up to 40% of the water for the Woronora Dam. It’s time for Premier O’Farrell to show that his government will prioritise the safe and healthy water supply for Sydney’s population.”

‘It’s too big a risk to allow this intensive mining in Sydney drinking water catchments. We’re not just talking about a failed bore here and one farmer’s livelihood but the water reservoirs for four and a half million people in Australia’s largest city.

‘In the past, other cracks caused by subsidence have been filled with the equivalent of polyfiller.

‘Given the extent of this new damage, it defies logic to allow destructive mining practices to continue in the areas that supply our drinking water.

‘We call on premier O’Farrell to live up to his pre-election promise and not allow coal mining in drinking water catchments.’

Protect Sydney’s Water Alliance was formed in 2013 and is a network of more than 50 community groups from across Sydney, the Illawarra and Blue Mountains working to protect Sydney drinking water catchments from irresponsible and destructive mining.

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