The NSW Government is compromising Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast’s drinking water, says the Lock the Gate Alliance submission to the NSW Government drinking water catchment review, released today.
Lock the Gate’s submission argues that current regulations will not protect against a swath of new coal mines and expansions, with mounting evidence that coal mining is reducing water flowing into dams.
Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods said, "Our drinking water is being depleted by coal mining and it’s only set to get worse, with another coal mine just approved in the Central Coast catchment and new coal mine and two large mine expansions proposed in the Sydney catchment.
"Underground mining cracks creeks and collapses the swamps that feed clean fresh water to Sydney’s dams. In this growing city with volatile rainfall, we need to put security of our drinking water first.
"A report prepared for the Department of Planning showed that rainfall that should be feeding Sydney's dams and drinking water supply is being drawn into the mining goafs beneath the surface at Dendrobium mine, the largest of the catchment mines.
"By failing to act now to get the mines out of the catchment and protect Sydney’s water, the Government is running considerable strategic risk for Australia’s biggest city in the context of rising populations and volatile rainfall.
"It’s not just Sydney. A new mine has just been approved under the drinking water catchment for the Central Coast. None of our drinking water catchments are protected from mining.
"The Premier has said that she doesn’t want anything compromising our water security. Well that’s exactly what the coal mines are doing and it needs to be stopped. It’s just common sense that water should take priority over coal mining."