Re: mining dangers Gloucester catchment

To: Graham Turner <>
Subject: Re: mining dangers Gloucester catchment
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 13:50:46 +1000
Dear all
Graham raises a point in his last sentence that I am very concerned about, having just driven to and from Murrurundi (Upper Hunter Valley NSW) and Gloucester. Huge open-cut mines are in operation between Singleton and Musselbrook. Most activity is hidden behind raised banks and new tree plantings so that we cannot easily view the devastation this form of mining has on the land, or the size of storage pits and waste, particularly polluted water from coal washing and other activities. We are not allowed to enter these areas to assess any direct affects to the local wildlife - most of which has to be destroyed by the mining processes. How many ducks or other waterbirds settle on the noxious settling tanks? What happens to the water tables and ground water?

Here in Gloucester we are faced with new coal, gas, gemstone and gold mining proposals, all of which present threats to our water supplies that originate in Barrington Tops National Park. Waters in the Avon, Gloucester and Barrington Rivers provide irrigation and drinking to a large area and thousands of people, stretching to and beyond Taree. I cannot believe that any mining operation occurs without some accidents. If we have an accident, like a holding dam bursts, containing highly saline water or other noxious matter, which is quite likely during one of our "extreme weather events", ground water can become polluted for years to come and that means our town water could be undrinkable, but worse, trees and anything that grows on the affected ground will be poisoned, and that means habitat for all the wild life. This would be an extreme event but it happened in the Pillaga when a gas mining operation holding dam burst. If anyone is interested, have a look at the web site - - set up by the group who defeated gas mining proposals in the Jilliby Creek/Wyong catchment area on the NSW Central Coast.

Gloucester has set up a Steering Committee to investigate these new mining proposals. We may need support from birding-aus members to protect are dwindling woodland birds, particularly the Grey-crowned Babblers, whose territories are directly affected by increased coal mining proposals. They've already lost a large area, and the new proposals could take away some of the best remaining dry open woodland edging the river valleys. I'll keep birding-aus posted.

One question, one observation on this discussion.
Is it reasonable to compare the number of bird strikes in the US to Australia? Are the migration patterns, numbers and size of birds such that similar effects would be expected here? And secondly, the number of birds killed by wind farms are immediately obvious with dead birds (and bats) obvious at the bottom of the blades. The number of animals killed by other forms of power generation are hidden. The effects of global warming may be very subtle and difficult to dectect. The effects of open cut mining are obvious only away from the power generation areas, often away from public view. Thus it is difficult to compare the two.
Cheers  Graham Turner


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU