22 C
Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

‘High risk’ to Sydney’s water

Latest News

No accountability for proven police misconduct

On Australia Day in 1998, I was the legal observer for the ‘Nude Ain’t Rude’ rally at Belongil Beach.

Other News

Local sailor triumphs in blustery Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race

Local sailor Craig Watson battled near gale-force winds on Coopers to have one of his best ever Brisbane to Gladstone yacht races claiming fourth place in line honours.

The ghost in the archives #3: Sexism, legal discrimination and ‘the game of bastardry’

The ghost in the archives #3 – In which a former Echo drudge dives into the crypt and comes up covered in dusty memories.

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

Getting the right stuff in your bins in the Tweed

Tweed Council is asking residents to be more careful with what waste they put in which bin – a surprising amount of the area's refuse, both recycling and landfill, ends up in the wrong receptacle.

Unauthorised dwelling capital of the world!

Could Main Arm’s title as the Unauthorised Dwelling Capital of the World be under threat?

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Longwall mining equipment. Photo Helen Simonsson flickr.com/photos/hesim
Longwall mining equipment. Photo Helen Simonsson flickr.com/photos/hesim

The NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has found that expanding the Russell Vale colliery near Wollongong posed an unacceptably ‘high risk’ to Sydney’s water catchment, potentially leading to the loss of 2.6 million litres of water a year.

The PAC last Friday handed down its report on Wollongong Coal’s proposal to develop eight new longwalls, from which it would extract 4.7 million tonnes of coal over five years.  The Department of Planning and Environment will now consider the PAC report and make a final recommendation on the project.

In recommending refusal, the PAC report stated that the magnitude of water loss is uncertain with the projected range from the proponent and Water NSW varying from minimal to 2.6GL/year. The Commission considers this is a high risk situation.

The Commission is also of the view that the social and economic benefits of the project as currently proposed are likely outweighed by the magnitude of impacts to the environment.

‘The PAC’s recommendation validates concerns the community has been voicing for many years,’ said Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski. ‘The Baird government must heed the PAC’s advice and reject this damaging project once and for all.’

Ms Smolski said serious concerns about the impact of further mining in the catchment have been raised by several government agencies, including WaterNSW, the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Department of Primary Industries, and the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development.

The PAC report found the project could lead to the draining of streams feeding drinking water reservoirs and the death of wetlands that are listed as a threatened ecological community, both as a result of subsidence that could crack rock slabs underlying creeks and swamps.

‘According to the Climate Council, water inflows in Sydney’s catchment could decrease by as much as 25 per cent by 2070 if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory,’ Ms Smolski said.

‘The NSW government has to get serious about securing our water supplies, which means banning mining and coal seam gas activities in the state’s drinking water catchments.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pottsville policing forum asks the hard questions

Members of the Pottsville and Tweed Coast community say that in response to an increase in criminal activity in the area and their request for increased police presence, they were hosting a police presentation at Pottsville.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration of women and protection of...

An insult, Poppa

From what I can understand, Poppa Veet Mayo’s letter seems to imply that this latest COVID scare is a government conspiracy (yes, another one). To...

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.