Greens spread fear over mining
THE Greens' latest anti-mining campaign is spreading fear because "the reality of mining in Dorrigo is terrifying", says NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye.
Five mining exploration licences now cover the headwaters of the Orara and Nymboida rivers and Greens representatives say this could pose a risk to people between Yamba and Sawtell.
Dr Kaye says the danger comes from the highly toxic minerals such as mercury, antimony, arsenic and lead which are known to occur in the ore bodies being targeted by the mining.
"The risk is real, the risk is genuine. The catchment is already teetering on the edge of being a health risk," he said.
"The size of these open cut mines means that they will inevitably produce large quantities of toxic minerals.
"The thing is, these minerals are bio-accumulators, they build up in your body and the more you have, the worse it gets."
Dr Kaye said the area had a history of arsenic use in cattle farms but the effects of this were minimal compared to what mining could produce.
"These ore bodies are in a far more soluble form, in terms of risk management, we're told that the only way to contain them is to leave them undisturbed," said Coffs Harbour City councillor Mark Graham.
"By exposing them through mining, they can soak into the soil and into the water systems."
Cr Graham is confident their campaign against mining in the Dorrigo Plateau will succeed.
"There's this small industry sector suggesting they want to undertake this activity and everyone else loses out," Cr Graham said.
"We are intending to run a long-running grassroots campaign."