Wendy Bowman, the "Hero of Camberwell"
Wendy has been fighting coal mines for nearly 30 years and was a founding member of Hunter Minewatch.
Wendy’s first property on Bowman’s Creek was a successful dairy farm until underground mining cracked the creek and removed her water supply.
Her second property, ‘Granbalang’ was surrounded by the Rix’s Creek Mine. She was forced to move from the heritage homestead with only 28 days notice.
Wendy’s third property, ‘Rosedale’ on Glennies Creek, is adjacent to the Ashton Mine. Wendy steadfastly refused to sell her property to Yancoal, owners of Ashton. She considered the opencut mine a major threat to Glennies Creek which provides all the water supply to the lower Hunter River. Glennies Creek corridor is also important for wildlife movements.
Bylong Valley and Tarwyn Park
The Bylong Valley is a place of extraordinary scenic beauty. The Bylong Valley Way follows the Goulburn River past dramatic stone escarpments to Bylong, home to unique Tarwyn Park. Tarwyn Park, the home of Natural Sequence Farming is now owned by a coal mining company and the fight is on to protect it. This historic place is at risk of being destroyed by a huge new open cut coal mine - the first proposed for the verdant Bylong Valley.
The village of Wollar was declared in March 1885. Wollar had been a thriving rural village, but in the last eight years, the heart of Wollar has been eaten away by the nearby Wilpinjong open cut coal mine. The noise and pollution from Wilpinjong have driven people away, and most of the land and the village of Wollar has been purchased by American energy company Peabody Energy who own Wilpinjong.
The community of Wollar has been decimated.
Bulga already cops the dust and noise from three of the Hunter’s huge open coal mines. For six years, residents of the village struggled to save their town from the expansion of Rio Tinto's Warkworth coal mine. They challenged the Government’s approval But Rio Tinto and the NSW Government joined forces against them. They changed laws and regulations. They re-submitted the mine proposal and rolled over all the objections to approve it, taking away the community’s right to appeal the decision in court.494 pledges
Will you join the campaign to Protect The Hunter Valley?
A community group taking action to protect air, land and water from the damage caused by coal and coal seam gas mining.Sign up
Our drinking water, our rivers and even our World Heritage areas are threatened by longwall coal mining in the greater Sydney region.
The agency that manages Sydney’s drinking water catchment sees longwall coal mining as one of the biggest threats to our water supply.
NSW’s Chief Scientist said that our catchment is the only publicly owned drinking water catchment in the world where coal mining is allowed.
A 2016 poll found that 84% of people in NSW want farmland, water and environment protected from coal mining and CSG.
But the Government is still giving the tick to coal mining in Sydney’s water catchment.
It’s time that Premier Berejiklian declared Sydney's drinking water catchment a no-go zone for coal and coal seam gas mining.
The map of coal mines beneath Sydney’s water...
Surrounding our vital reservoirs, are the Special Areas, usually kept clean and untouched, to act as natural filtration systems - except for longwall coal mining.
These dams shown above provide 20% of Sydney’s water. Swamps and rivulets currently provide water even during dry times to these dams - until they’re cracked forever from below.
#1. APPIN COAL MINE
Flammable methane leaking through Nepean River due to riverbed cracks caused by nearby longwall coal mining.
#2. METROPOLITAN COAL (PEABODY) MINE
Undermining Woronora Catchment
The once pristine waterway, Waratah Rivulet, in the Woronora Catchment Special Area which flows into Woronora Dam, was cracked and drained by mining in 2006.
#3. RUSSELL VALE COAL MINE
Undermining Cataract Catchment
WaterNSW was scathing about Wollongong Coal’s Russell Vale expansion plan: “The estimated water loss of 7.3 million litres per day is unacceptable, particularly during dry periods.”
#4. DENDROBRIUM COAL MINE
Undermining Cordeaux Catchment
Sept 2016 catchment inspection revealed newly cracked and drained creeks and dry wetlands. WaterNSW objected to a proposal lodged by Illawarra Coal, saying the risks to the Sydney water supply are “unacceptably high.” Recently, Professor Jim Galvin has warned of “potential permanent consequences for the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment Metropolitan Special Area.” A Department of Planning report has revealed that precious rainfall that should be feeding Sydney's dams and drinking water supply is being drawn into polluted mining voids underground.1,082 signatures
Demand that Premier Berejiklian protect Sydney's drinking water catchments.
Make Coal Giants Pay for Mine Clean-Up
Our new report – Abandoned Mines in Queensland: Toxic Time-bomb or Employment Opportunity? – calls for big mining companies to cover the cost of rehabilitating the State’s abandoned mines and estimates that this would generate 6000 jobs in regional Queensland!
There are too many large abandoned mines, and the full cost of cleaning them up is too large and should not fall on taxpayers. If mines are levied to pay for the clean up, they can also create jobs in the process.
Why should we miss out on hundreds of schools and hospitals because we’re footing the bill for the mess left behind by irresponsible mining companies?
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report (pdf)
- ACF Mine Rehab Stories
- Abandoned Mines in Queensland Report
- NSW Coal Pit Legacy
- Mine Rehab Closure Cost Report
- Rhetoric Vs Reality. Rehab performance snapshot
We call on the NSW and Queensland Premiers to strengthen weak mining laws and force companies to honour their obligations to rehabilitate their mines. The following needs to be done:
- Increase the required deposit to cover rehabilitation costs
- Require all future mines to backfill their mining pits and protect water resources
- Establish an independent authority to monitor and enforce mine rehabilitation
- Penalise companies who breach rehabilitation requirements.
Together we can ensure that the mining industry is held to account and that our land and water resources are protected against abandoned mines.
We can’t tell you how to vote, that’s your decision. But we have reviewed both the previous actions and the current policies of various parties against our Water4Life Index, so that you can have an informed view on where they stand in relation to coal and gas mining.
The two parties that have the strongest record and the strongest policies are the Australian Greens and the Glenn Lazarus Team. They have both taken real action in Parliament over the last term, and both have strong policies to protect water resources, farmland and public health.
Overall, independents and minor parties have generally adopted far better policies to protect land and water resources, and to defend communities, than either of the two major parties.
Other minor parties that have taken some action or have adopted positive policies include the Nick Xenophon Team and the CountryMinded Party. In the Senate, John Madigan, Ricky Muir and Jacqui Lambie have stood up against Coalition plans to weaken Federal laws*.
The Labor Party has committed to expanding the water trigger to shale gas and tight gas, which is a step forward, and have also committed to leave key environmental powers in Federal hands. But they have fallen well short of delivering on our full Water4Life index.
The Liberal and National Parties are still planning to weaken the few laws that are in place to protect land and water and to remove the rights of community groups to challenge mining approvals in court. Far from delivering on our index, they will hand powers back to the states, take us backwards and leave food-producing land and water resources at grave risk.
Find out how our Federal MPs voted recently to protect Australia's fresh water from coal and gas here.Read more
The Mataranka Hot Springs are in the Roper River catchment, fed by groundwater from the Daly Basin, northern Wiso Basin and the northern Georgina Basin.
Almost the entire Roper River catchment is under already approved exploration licences for shale gas fracking.
Large swaths of the Daly, Wiso and Georgina basins are also under licence or application for fracking.
Tens of thousands of square kilometres around Mataranka could be turned into gasfields, putting these fragile water systems and hot springs under threat! In a recent community led survey 95% of local residents want the area to be gasfield-free.
Gas drilling and fracking in the Great Artesian Basin puts our water at risk. The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) covers 22% of Australia and is the only reliable source of water across its overlying arid and semi-arid areas for farmers and communities.
Unconventional gas extraction requires drilling into aquifers or right through the Basin! This creates a risk of cross-contamination or depressurisation of the GAB. The greater the number of gas wells, the higher the risk!
Video introduction: Department of the Environment.
Join our campaign to put protecting our #water4life16 from coal and gas on the agenda for the Federal Election.
National mapping reveals that 37.3% of Australia is covered by coal and gas licences and applications.
That amounts to 285 million hectares - an area almost 13 times the size of Great Britain!
Our best food-producing lands, our finest natural areas and some of our most important water resources are all at risk from unsafe coal and gas mining.Read more
On the driest inhabited continent on earth, where people and landscapes depend on vulnerable water resources, Australia needs laws that protect our water from coal and unconventional gas mining.
In the lead-up to the Federal election, will you join us in putting water on the national agenda? Will you be part of our #Water4Life campaign?
We will be taking action all around the country to tell candidates and political parties, that it’s time for them to:
- Protect nationally significant water resources
- Support the ‘dining boom’
- Protect the health of people and communities
We’ll be asking them to commit to our full #Water4Life Index, and we’ll be judging them against it.
We’ve got lots of great activities planned. Will you join us for a national day of watery action at candidate offices, or be part of our efforts to beat the record for the world’s longest highway protest as a way of raising awareness during the winter school holidays?
If you want to get active and get involved in #Water4Life, please sign up here. We’ll be in touch to let you know about the many different ways you can be part of this, to provide you with information to use with your local candidates, and lots more!
If you need a bit more of push to feel motivated, check out our summary of 5 big mining and water scandals. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There have been one too many scandals……It’s time for action.Sign up