Forum to explain mining plan

COMMUNITY angst over mining plans for the Coffs Coast will come to a head on Sunday.

The Lock the Gate Alliance has convened a Mining the Coffs Coast forum at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour at 2pm.

Alliance spokesman Michael McNamara said the session was the result of “unprecedented pressure to mine sensitive parts” of our region.

“With proposals to mine coal seam gas throughout the Clarence Valley, antimony in the headwaters of Coffs Harbour's drinking water supply, and gold throughout the forested hinterland, there has never been as much pressure on the mineral resources of the region,” Mr McNamara said.

“There are serious conflicts between mining and the internationally-significant biodiversity of the region and even more serious conflicts between toxic mining practices and the protection of clean water supplies.”

Mr McNamara said he and his wife, Julie, were so passionate about the issue they were undertaking a promotional speaking tour of NSW during August and September to promote National Day of Action on October 16, also the start of National Water Week.

At the Mining the Coffs Coast session, Coffs Harbour City Greens councillor Mark Graham will detail what he says are existing problems from mining here and give an overview of current mining proposals across the Coffs Coast.

“We have just spent around $200 million to build a regional water supply,” Cr Graham said.

“A Chinese company is seeking to mine antimony in the catchment of our water supply. Antimony is toxic – there needs to be a public conversation about the wisdom of allowing toxic mining practices in drinking water catchments.

“Sunday's information session will provide this opportunity.”

Only two weeks ago, Cr Graham persuaded his fellow councillors to support his concerns over the mining of toxic minerals within the city's water supply catchment area.

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