Expansion of Duralie Coal open cut mine challenged

Social, legal and health issues related to unrestrained expansion of coal mines in Australia.

Expansion of Duralie Coal open cut mine challenged

Postby HVPA_research » Fri May 06, 2011 7:08 am

IRONSTONE COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP Inc
____________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________
Ironstone Community Action Group Inc.
C/- Amanda Albury – Secretary
151 Forest Glenn Road
Limeburners Creek NSW 2324
Ph: 4997-5979
Email: saorb@skymesh.com.au


Wednesday 4th May 2011

Dear Sir/Madam, Advertised Monday 9th May - MOVED to Thursday 12TH May at Gloucester Court.

RE: COURT APPEAL: IRONSTONE COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP (ICAG Inc.) V’s NSW PLANNING DEPARTMENT & GLOUCESTER COAL/DURALIE COAL

I am writing on behalf of Ironstone Community Action Group Inc. (ICAG Inc.) asking for your Business, Organisation, Self, to please consider giving a donation towards our Court costs.

ICAG Inc. is working with the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). Solicitors Kirsty Ruddock & Elaine Johnson, lodged our appeal under a ‘Merits Appeal, Class 1’. The opposition/s expedited the Court hearing which has shortened the time frame for the entire Court proceeding. ICAG Inc. has taken the initial step on behalf of individuals/groups who lodged an objection letter to Duralie Coal’s extension have take this opportunity to speak at Gloucester Court House of their concerns on Thursday 12th May 2-4 pm having registered with the planning dept. by 29th April.

• Sydney: Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th Wednesday 11th May Sydney Land & Environment Court
• Court Hearing Gloucester: Thursday 12th May 2011 (2-4pm) Gloucester Court House
We would like to see as many people attend the above court hearings & fill the Court Houses inside and out.

• Mining impacts on the Valley along with discharge of dirty mine waste-water (via different methods/means), into local gullies/creeks all running into either Wards River or Mammy Johnsons River, (we believe exploration drilling has already impacted Wards River). Wards River joins Mammy Johnsons River (at Wards River Township), which flows to the downstream users of the Karuah River and into Port Stephens/Marine Park.

SOME REASONS FOR THIS APPEAL
We are appealing against the NSW Planning Department’s decision approving Gloucester/Duralie Coal’s mine extension till 31st December 2021 and authorising the surrender of all Conditions of Consent, including the “No Direct River Discharge” Condition of Consent. One of our concerns is this will allow Duralie Coal to discharge directly their dirty mine waste water into Mammy Johnsons River OR indirect discharge into Coalshaft Creek/or other creeks or gullies; called “First Flush Protocol”. Duralie Coal have been approved by NSW Planning Department to discharge (dirty water) into Coalshaft Creek when the micro-siemens are below 1326 micro-siemens and the river is below 400 micro-siemens. We believe this is extremely alarming for the health of water quality & fauna in the Creek/River systems. Coalshaft Creek flows directly to Mammy Johnsons River, Karuah River to Port Stephens/Marine Park. On page 21 of Duralie Coal’s Preliminary Assessment (October 2009) during one of many submission periods over the last 2½ years, lists heavy metals, diesel fuels and explosive residue in this water. Duralie Coal disposes of their ‘contained dam/dirty water’ by irrigating with various sized ‘sprinkler systems’ and ‘water cannons’. Duralie also disposes of dirty water via ‘evaporation’. This discharge water should NEVER find its way into gullies, creeks or rivers including river/creek flats & flood plains as this takes the ‘toxins’ further down stream into the Karuah River to Port Stephens/Marine Park.

The Commonwealth Government is also responsible for approving Duralie Coal and NOT protecting Endangered, Threatened & Vulnerable Species under the EPBC Act. Under Water Management point 5 ‘Proposed Conditions’ “In the event that the results of Giant Barred Frog monitoring required under Condition 8 identify a decline of 20% or more (in comparison with the highest average results obtained from Sept to April 2010-11 surveys & then subsequently in combination with 2011-2012 surveys) in the Giant Barred Frog population, the proponent may only release water into the MJR (Mammy Johnsons River) catchment when Electrical Conductivity levels are less than 400 uS/cm in MJR (as measured at High Noon monitoring site) and less than 810 uS/cm in Coalshaft Creek (as measured at Coalshaft Creek monitoring site SW2(RC) until otherwise advised by Department. Note: for clarity regarding Condition 5 the mine water to be released during this time must not exceed 810 uS/cm as measured at monitoring site point SW2 (RG)”. The Commonwealth Government Departments show us they care little, for the damage their approvals are already having on this valley area, wildlife, Creeks & Rivers to Port Stephens/Marine Park.



The Bucketts Way joins the Pacific Highway North of Raymond Terrace and is a NSW designated Tourist Drive 2, to Stroud, Gloucester & Barrington Tops/ranges and to Taree, not for much longer. Government approvals are allowing mining companies to destroy areas of environmental significance & wildlife that cannot defend itself from such approvals. Over 70% of NSW is now mined or under exploration licence.

Dr Ian Wright - Fresh Water Ecologist & University Lecturer, in his ‘Independent Report’ states: - “I have significant concern that the current contaminated water from Duralie Coal Mine is responsible for a measurable degradation to water quality in Mammy Johnsons River” and “It is very likely that Coalshaft Creek was the source of the increase in salinity and that mine drainage from activities associated with Duralie Coal mine contributed to this” also “this should be investigated by local Council”. (Report is available if necessary).

SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE ARE APPEALING AGAINST IN THE LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT
• Approval for Duralie Coal to continue till 2021 & their “surrender” of all Conditions of Consent by December 2011.
• Removal of the “No River Discharge” Condition of Consent was originally granted after a Commission of Inquiry in 1997 to protect the water quality of Mammy Johnsons River & the downstream water users of the Karuah River to Port Stephens. All Conditions of Consent must be surrendered by December 2011 (including the No River Discharge Condition of Consent).
• Water pollution of local creeks/gullies that flow directly into Wards River, Mammy Johnsons River, flowing to the Karuah River, Port Stephens/Marine Park. These waterways are being drilled, dug up and used as coal mining dirty-water drains.
• Giant Barred Frogs breeding ground/habitat areas, No. 32 on the World List of Threatened, Endangered & Vulnerable Species. All threatened by pollutants/toxins from Duralie Coal/discharge and mining.
• Offset areas. ‘Offset areas’ is a term used by Government & Mining that covers areas that are to be preserved, when in actual fact they are not. e.g. Stratford Coal will offset 20km away into Duralie Coal’s land, in a different Council area for the land and bushland they are destroying currently at Stratford. Offsetting does not save wildlife or their habitat.
• Air Pollution/Dust (blasting toxic explosive residue/dust), digging up the valley produces dust, wind drags dust in a wall or tornado funnel to neighbouring properties and into tanks, drinking water, dams, creeks & river systems.
• The Cumulative Impacts (coal, coal seam gas, gold, precious minerals etc) from all mining companies in the Gloucester - Stroud valley. The Cumulative impacts of mining on these river systems in the Manning Catchment Area to Taree and on the Barrington Ranges/Tops (headwaters of many river systems). With cumulative mining impacts on water sources & the natural environment: Health, tourism, agriculture & other businesses will be adversely affected by mining in & around this valley including the cumulative impacts in the Karuah Catchment Area to Port Stephens.

HELP IS NEEDED PLEASE: DONATIONS CAN BE MADE IN 3 WAYS
1) Cheque payable to: Ironstone Community Action Group Inc.
C/- Amanda Albury – Secretary
151 Forest Glenn Road Limeburners Creek NSW 2324

2) Direct Deposit: Greater Building Society
Ironstone Community Action Group
Account No. 718 290 813 BSB No. 637000

3) Money Order at Post office: For individuals, Government Departments, Local Government/people or Organisations needing to remain anonymous. Money order cheques cost $5.95 post to C/- Amanda Albury.

Our valley, creeks & rivers to Port Stephens Marine Park & Taree, need your help with donations for this Court case. Everyone who values our valleys, creeks & river systems to Port Stephens and Taree & Barrington Ranges or lives in these areas which are all major tourist destinations including oyster, commercial fishing industry and recreational fishing need to come on board, donate money and help please. Money received will go towards paying costs incurred for (Solicitors, Barristers, Experts).

People have dedicated 17 years in March 2011 of their lives, in the hope of seeing Mammy Johnsons River and the downstream users of Karuah River, Port Stephens/Marine Park protected forever by the Australian Government Departments from any form of mining impacts and discharge via any method or amount. However our Government has NO regard for natural water sources (headwaters, springs, swamps, aquifers, creeks & river systems), wildlife or people & the communities they affect by their approvals to mining companies. Appealing the NSW Planning Departments decision is ‘our right’ in seeking to defend the environment from such approvals. Please support this appeal attending Gloucester Court House on Thursday 12th May. Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th May in Sydney Land & Environment Court. Donations will be greatfully accepted & appreciated. Thank you for your support.
Ironstone Community Action Group Inc
C/- Amanda Albury – Secretary PH: 4997-5979 email: saorb@skymesh.com.au
HVPA_research
 
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