From A Clarence Valley Protest on 11 November 2011:
O'Farrell Government blocks motion calling for moratorium on mining approvals on the Dorrigo Plateau and Clarence River Catchment
Today the NSW Parliament Legislative Council was adjourned at 3.52 pm until Tuesday 22 November 2011 at 2.30 pm.
However, before the House rose the O’Farrell Coalition Government gave voters on the NSW North Coast a very good reason to reject his candidate, Chris Gulaptis, at the 19 November Clarence by-election when it used its numbers and influence to block this motion:
349. Mr Buckingham to move—
1. That this House notes that:
(a) Anchor Resources Limited have conducted scoping studies that indicate a resource of 17,500 tons of antimony have been found at both Wild Cattle Creek near Nymboida, and the Blicks River to the northwest of Dorrigo on the mid north coast of New South Wales,
(b) Anchor Resources Limited has recently been subject to a majority takeover by the Chinese minerals company China Shandong Jinshunda Group Limited which now owns over 90 per cent of the company,
(c) antimony is a mineral resource used for a range of high tech products such as polymers, fire retardants and electronics,
(d) antimony and many of its compounds are toxic and the World Health Organisation has stated that oral consumption can result in "a strong irritating effect on the gastrointestinal mucosa and trigger sustained vomiting ... abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and cardiac toxicity",
(e) the Wild Cattle Creek project is located within the headwaters of the Nymboida River, which is the highest rainfall catchment in New South Wales,
(f) the majority of the municipal water supply for more than 100,000 residents in Coffs Harbour is provided by Shannon Creek Dam which is fed by pipes directly from the Nymboida River,
(g) the Nymboida also flows into the Clarence River which provides water for domestic and agricultural purposes and is part of an important fishery based around Yamba,
(h) the high rainfall of the catchment means there is a significant risk that run off containing antimony and arsenic from any mine site could contaminate the river systems,
(i) a previous antimony ore processing plant at Urunga Lagoon has been described in the Bellingen Council 2009-10 State of the Environment Report as seriously contaminated and unable to be rehabilitated, and
(j) the Government has admitted that mining activities at Hillgrove have caused serious and long-term contamination of the Macleay River from the mine to the Pacific Ocean.
2. That this House calls on the Government to:
(a) place a moratorium on mining approvals on the Dorrigo Plateau and Clarence until the Strategic Regional Land Use Plan has been completed for this area, and
(b) consider declaring the area around Wild Cattle Creek at the headwaters of the Nymboida an environmentally sensitive area, off-limits to mining as per the Coalition's Strategic Regional Land Use Policy.
(Notice given 8 November 2011—expires Notice Paper No. 72)
Legislative Council Notice Paper No. 55—Friday 11 November 2011