Senators Probe Mining Impacts
The Senate enquiry into the Impacts of Mining in the Murray Darling Basin heard from mining representatives and landholders in Gunnedah on Monday. The Mining Council reps were closely questioned about current exploratory activities and agreed our water supplies were “obviously a very critical resource”. However, they continued to labour the point for a case-by-case basis to mining assessments, precisely the sort of approach that has led to the massive environmental, water and community problems experienced in The Hunter and Southern coalfields because cumulative impacts to land and water are not taken into account.
The Senators questioned Kirrily Blomfield, Bridget Gallagher, Tim Duddy, Rosemary Nankivell and John Clements from Namoi Water about the potential for water diversion and the effects of coal and gas mining on the recharge ridges and shallow aquifers feeding agricultural water supplies. An ABC Radio interview is available here.
Shenhua which plans to open cut their area was not present, but is expected to provide a submission by early October. Santos and other gas producers were questioned the following day in Queensland where productive farming land is also at risk. A transcript of the proceedings will be available next week.