Mudgee Guardian: Mudgee to host hearing
A LOCAL action group opposed to the Lue Silver mine have welcomed a first of its kind Upper House enquiry into the potential Impacts of Gold, Silver, Lead and Zinc Mining on human health, land, air and water quality established this week.
A committee will hold hearings and site visits later in the year including in Mudgee.
Of local concern is the Bowdens Silver mine at Lue, which was approved on April 3 this year.
Greens NSW MP and mining and water spokesperson Cate Faehrmann, who called for an enquiry earlier in July, said it is long overdue.
"Communities living near the massive Cadia Gold Mine in the Central West have tried to raise the alarm for years about the potential impacts of the mine's operations on their health and environment," Ms Faehrmann said.
"However, it wasn't until the community got their water independently tested, which they then made public, that the state's Environmental Protection Authority sprung into action.
"Despite Cadia knowingly emitting unacceptable levels of contaminated dust for an unknown period of time, our laws only allow for a maximum fine of $15,000 to be issued to the global mining giant."
"We have established this inquiry to examine the impacts that these types of mining may have, including on human health, the environment and agriculture in New South Wales. The committee will also look at what could be done better to manage these impacts," Dr Amanda Cohn MLC, Chair of Portfolio Committee No. 2 - Health said.
Gary Rush from the Mudgee Region Action Group (MRAG), formerly the Lue Action Group said the group is pleased that the enquiry is happening and will support it all the way.
"The Mudgee Region Actin Group were very pleased to hear that the enquiry was going to be held and - Cate's [Faehrmann] delivery of her commitment... to get an enquiry up and running was announced in Mudgee... and we think it's an enquiry that's much needed not only in our region but in NSW," Mr Rush said.
"The enquiry will look at the potential Impacts of Gold, Silver, Lead and Zinc Mining on human health, land, air and water quality, and that pretty well encapsulates all of the concerns that those members of MRAG have held for some time with regard to this mine."
The Independent Planning Commission's assessment of the Bowdens Silver mine acknowledged the risk of dust-borne heavy metals.