Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Water Wars: Not good enough, Richie!

“DANGEROUSLY high levels of arsenic and antimony in Mine Creek, which feeds into Wild Cattle Creek, has ignited debate about antimony mining in an area which leads into the water supply of the Clarence and Coffs Harbour regions.
Wild Cattle Creek is one of the major tributaries of the Nymboida River which leads into the Clarence and also supplies water to Shannon Creek Dam.
A map commissioned by Anchor Resources, the company which is licenced to explore, but not mine the site at Beilsdown, shows Mine Creek at one point had 377 ug/litre (parts per billion) of antimony which is 126 times the Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council's (ANZECC) guidelines for drinking water.
Arsenic levels at the same spot were 85 ug/litre - more than 12 times the ANZECC drinking water guidelines.
The map is dated September 19, 2011.” {The Daily Examiner on 5th October 2011 in Significant threat to waterways}

This is a section of the map published alongside the quoted article (hat tip to Clarencegirl's friends):

Even I can work out that if past antimony and gold mining in parts of the Clarence River catchment have resulted in persistent pollution which is likely to remain for centuries, then it’s not a brilliant idea to sit back and let the O’Farrell Government in faraway Sydney agree to new mining in the area which can possibly stuff up Clarence waterways and increase health risks faced by local communities and the businesses which keep them afloat.
But lord luvva duck! Sometimes you have to wonder what happens to some men’s spines after they catch a glimpse of a golden chance – the right to strut down Macquarie Street and plant their behinds on the government pews in Parliament House alongside Bazza and his mates.
Faced with evidence from a report commissioned by the Chinese-owned mining exploration company, Anchor Resources, Clarence Valley Mayor and Nationals pre-selection candidate, Richie Williamson, had this to say in The Daily Examiner on 5th October 2011; Should the mine progress, council will not be taking a back seat on the issue".  
Gone is any hint of outright opposition – or heaven forfend, a proactive approach - to this latest threat to the quality and safety of fresh water flowing down the Nymboida River and on into the kitchen taps of Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour homes. Instead there is p*ss weak acceptance that what China wants China gets.
Seems the boys from Anchor really did a number on Richie at that last meeting with council.

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