Author Sharyn Munro is just one famous face at the Save Our Macleay River’s (SOMRs) Public Forum on Saturday 20 July.
Her book Rich Land – Wasteland records the struggle many ordinary Australians are having trying to protect their communities from the adverse affects of mining.
About three years ago, Sharyn left her pristine mountain home and began a journey through rural Australia, visiting communities in mining areas. While initially concentrating on coal mining, she soon found that coal was not the only mining that impacted negatively on the environment.“The unprecedented expansion of mining in Australia is like an invasion", Ms Munro said. “It leads to the destruction of our food and water security.”
Also speaking at the forum is Gavin Mudd, Course Director in Environmental Engineering at Monash University.Mr Mudd is an expert in sustainable mining, environmental impacts, management of mine wastes and acid mine drainage with a good understanding of the downstream impacts as we experience them in the Macleay Valley.“There are thousands of mine sites across Australia, both old and still operating, which leave a huge environmental legacy”, he explained.“We haven't really dealt with that and given that mining is increasing all the time the challenge is only getting bigger and bigger.”
Taree Councillor and Chair of the Manning Alliance, Peter Epov is another speaker.“'There are a number of unique parallels", he said. "We have been working to insulate the Manning Valley and the entire catchment from the ravages of CSG from Gloucester and the Macleay Valley has similar issues.”
Also on the panel is Dhungutti Elder Fred Kelly who is concerned about existing health problems within the Indigenous community. “It should be investigated whether these are related to contaminants already in the river like arsenic and antimony”, he said.
The Forum will provide the community with an opportunity to raise awareness of past, current and potential future pollution from mining operations not only in the Macleay River catchment but also in other areas of Australia as well.
The events of the day will kick off at 10.30am at the Anglican Hall in West Kempsey with a free workshop by the Environmental Defenders’ Office (EDO). The panel discussion begins at 1.30pm and will conclude with a Q&A session. Lunch is available at 12.15pm.
Contacts for interviews:
Gavin Mudd 0419 117 494,
Sharyn Munro 0438 052 685,
Peter Epov 0412 158858
For more information visit www.saveourmacleayriver.com