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Political cooperation needed to protect drinking water catchments of NSW cities

Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed support from across the political divide for Battle for Berrima's 13,000-strong petition debated in NSW parliament yesterday that seeks a moratorium on further coal mining in Sydney’s drinking water catchment and an inquiry into the risks mining poses to the future quality, supply and safety of water supply from the Sydney Water catchment.

The petition was tabled by Liberal member for Goulburn, Pru Goward, who voiced opposition to the proposed Hume coal mine in the upper reaches of Sydney’s drinking water catchment in the Southern Highlands.

Ms Goward told parliament, "The request of these petitioners for an inquiry into the impact of coal mining on the Sydney catchment, and therefore on the water supply for Australia's most populous city, is long overdue" and also "We owe it to our children and our children's children to protect our most precious resource."

David Harris, ALP member for Wyong spoke in support of the petition and of the broken planning system that has allowed a new coal mine to be approved in the Central Coast’s drinking water catchment. Mr Harris told parliament, "It is time for Parliament, without political affiliation, to declare water catchments out of bounds"

Greens member for Balmain, Jamie Parker, also spoke in support of the petition, and said his party supports, "an immediate moratorium on approvals of new coal mines or the expansion of existing coal mines within the Sydney water catchment.”

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, “It was heartening to hear this concern about coal mining in drinking water catchments from across the political divide. Now we need to turn that concern into action. Parliamentarians must build on this emerging agreement that action is needed to protect drinking water catchments from the damage of coal mining.

“It’s time to choose. We call on the Government to work with the Opposition and the Greens to agree on a Bill to protect the catchments Sydney and the Central Coast from further coal mining.”

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