Wallarah 2 Coal Mine Might Be Stopped with New Water Trigger

Amendments to Federal environmental laws, which allow the Federal Environmental Minister to intervene in projects which affect water, have passed the Senate. These proposals are the culmination of much hard work by Independent Tony Windsor, and The Greens. The Central Coast Greens welcome this water trigger, because it may allow the Federal Minister to call a halt on the Wallarah 2 coal mine project due to its potential for irrevocable damage to the Coast’s drinking water supply. Since Barry O’Farrell has broken his election promise that “no ifs, no buts” there will be no coal mining in water catchments, the Central Coast needs this federal protection of our water supply.

“Wallarah 2 will cause subsidence in the Jilliby Valley and surrounds. This, coupled with mining activities, will cause loss of water to bores, remove up to 740,000 litres of ground water every day, and risks cracking of creek and river beds as has been seen in the Nepean catchment.” said Kate da Costa, Central Coast spokesperson.

“The new water trigger means that coal and coal seam gas projects which have impacts on water can be called in by the Federal Environment Minister. Kores’ own Environmental Impact Statement shows the level of impact on groundwater, with the very real risk of the loss of the equivalent of 40 inground pools every day. The creeks in the mine area flow into the Wyong River, which is now linked by a $125million  dollar pipeline to the Mangrove Mountain dam, which is the main drinking water supply of the Central Coast.”

“Predicted subsidence of between 200mm and 2.6 metres, from Kores’ own figures, has the potential to crack river beds or change the water flow patterns across several valleys. This alone should be enough for the Environment Minister to intervene, and protect the Central Coast from water loss. Putting a halt to this mine will also remove the increased risk of asthma and lung disease from coal dust and fine particle emissions which come from any coal mine.”

The Central Coast Greens welcome the recent announcement of Federal funding to assist local manufacturers to install solar PV to cut their electricity costs. “We don’t need any new coal mining.” Said Kate da Costa, Central Coast Greens spokesperson. “We need to take the billions of dollars given in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and use it in ways like this recent grant to help convert Australia to 100% renewables as quickly as possible. Our major trading partners, China and India, are both implementing large renewable programs which will quickly reduce their coal and gas requirements. Instead of hitching all our fortunes to exporting dirty energy, Australia which is blessed with ample sun and the space to build wind farms, should follow Scotland’s lead and legislate for the electricity grid to be 100% renewable by 2030.”

Further enquiries:

Kate da Costa, Kdc1900@gmail.com, 0419 481 328
Sue Wynn, skwynn@bigpond.net.au, 0434 151 537