Never Never land ?
One of the reasons we struggle with any mining company declaration that they won’t do something environmentally damaging is that, when push comes to shove, they usually do once a mining lease is granted, in concert with a remarkably lax attitude at the Environmental Protection Agency who purport to protect the environment.
Duralie coal mine’s recent application to have its licence conditions changed, so that it can dump dirty water into the pristine Mammy Johnsons River in Stroud, is a case in point. Even though Minister Craig Knowles said on granting the mining lease “There shall be no discharge of dirty water from the mine to Mammy Johnsons River” and Frank Sartor said explicitly, on granting a mining extension in 2006, “In approving the project, I have insisted on a number of environmental measures to minimise its impact and protect Mammy Johnsons River,” Duralie Coal is now pressing to discharge dirty water into the local river as “the most cost effective solution to the mine’s waste water problem”.
Will our government and the EPA honour its promises to protect this River? Are promises and guarantees worth anything? Will never become next week? On the Liverpool Plains with world class aquifers and soil, we watch with interest.