New South Wales in currently experiencing a mining rush. Communities from across the state are either fighting off new mines, or dealing with the environmental, health and other impacts of existing ones. As a part of my True Cost of Mining Tour, I’ve been reviewing the state of mining in NSW and have collated this interactive map.
It’s a work in progress. Click on the mine markers for more information about that mine. You can zoom in, out and move the map around. If you notice any mistakes or have an update to report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9230 2320. We hope you find it a useful resource.
It seems too bizarre to be true, but the NSW Government has given approval for coal seam gas mining in a special Sydney drinking water catchment area that is so precious, even bushwalkers are not allowed. There is an expansion proposed for the exploration project, which you can read more about here.
Recently I visited Newnes Plateau and the Gardens of Stone west of the Blue Mountains to inspect damage caused by longwall coal mining. Subsidence from longwall mining causes cracking – both below and at the earth’s surface. Rivers and creeks literally drain away and groundwater dependent ecosystems are destroyed. The cost to our natural heritage is huge. When you see the impacts your have to ask yourself is our addiction to coal worth it?
Greens MP and mining spokesperson Cate Faehrmann is heading west for the second leg of her tour of mining affected communities. The ‘The True Cost of Mining’ tour began in the Upper Hunter last week.
Monday 14 February: Cate will tour Newnes Plateau and the Gardens of Stone just west of the Blue Mountains to observe the devastation longwall mining has wreaked on the natural environment.
Tuesday 15 February: Cate joins Orange City Councillor Jeremy Buckingham, in a helicopter flight over Cadia gold mine.
“The NSW government is unquestioningly supporting the massive expansion of the coal industry in NSW, yet at what cost?” said Ms Faehrmann.
“So far on this tour I’ve seen some shocking examples of what the ‘resources’ boom is costing the community in terms of lost agricultural land, wrecked rivers, destroyed biodiversity and sick and divided communities.
“Open cut coal mining is leaving a trail of destruction across the landscape, while the subsidence of longwall mining is causing water courses to crack and drain away.
Cate will be touring some of the worst-hit parts of the state, as well as those that have the most to lose. She will bring back what she learns to the Parliament. ‘The True Cost of Mining Tour’ will also include trips to the Illawarra and the Southern Highlands.
Check back at www.catefaehrmann.org for regular updates as Cate documents the impacts she witnesses on tour.
Santos have drilled three exploration wells for coal seam gas in a previously untouched area of productive agricultural land near Scone. For more information on the risks of coal seam gas, visit my Coal seam gas info hub.