Greens back 'no mine zone' call
THE Greens have backed Coffs Coast property owners opposed to mining, in calling for the Dorrigo Plateau to be declared a 'no mine zone' to protect the region's river systems and water supply.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye has joined the Dorrigo Environment Watch and will visit the Dorrigo National Park on Friday at 12.30pm to meet with locals.
"The Dorrigo antimony mining proposals is playing Russian roulette with the environment and downstream residents' health," Dr Kaye said.
"The O'Farrell Government knows that the Dorrigo Plateau is entirely unsuitable for antimony mining.
"Antimony mining, high rainfall and steep terrains are a deadly combination.
Property owners and environmental campaigners fear the Nymboida and Clarence rivers would inevitably suffer as deadly pollutants including antimony and arsenic are washed out of the mine and into the catchments that supply drinking and agricultural water.
"The O'Farrell Government has reneged on their pre-election promise to create mining 'no-go' zones in areas that would threaten the integrity of water supplies," Dr Kaye said.
"The Dorrigo Plateau catchment supplies water for fisheries, agriculture and domestic consumption.
"Antimony mining would put at risk the local environment, the economy, the livelihood of farmers and the health of residents."
The Chinese-owned minerals company Anchor Resources' proposes to revitalise and expanded antimony mining at Wild Cattle Creek, despite strong community opposition and the environmental and health risks it would create.
"More than 100 years after it closed, the abandoned antimony mine at Hillgrove continues to leach toxic heavy metals into the surrounding environment," the anti-antimony lobby says.
Dorrigo Environment Watch has been monitoring the effects that exploration and mining have had on the local environment.