Wallarah 2

13 February 2019



The Central Coast community has been abandoned by the Morrison Government following its reckless approval of the Wallarah 2 coal mine under our precious water catchment.

My community deserves answers.

If this speculative coal mine goes ahead our water catchment is at risk from subsidence, water loss and potential contamination.

Why has the Morrison government given approval to the mine when they know it poses a threat to the security of our drinking water?

Why has Minister Price used the EPBC Act water trigger, introduced by the last Labor Government, to prop up a speculative coal mine proposal when it is her duty to protect the environment and our water security?

When the safety and supply of the drinking water of some 350,000 people is at stake, surely the highest level of caution and care should be exercised by the federal Environment Minister.

KORES, the foreign company planning to mine under our valleys, have acknowledged the subsidence and water loss this mine will cause.

Its solution?

To treat the water generated by the mine and then put that treated mine water back into our drinking water catchment!

The people of the Central Coast, living in Dobell and in Robertson, cannot believe that Minister Price and Scott Morrison expect them and their children to drink treated mine water.

And, if something does go wrong, can my community be expected to rely on a for-profit mining company to stop extracting coal and put our water supply before its profits?

Is the Environment Minister truly satisfied that, without even producing a methodology, a mining company can be trusted to treat mine water to a potable standard?

Can anyone dispute the expert opinion that this mine would lower the water table under the Dooralong and Yarramalong Valleys by at least 20 per cent?

When the mine was last referred to the federal government under the EPBC water trigger in 2013, the Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) of that time concluded that the miner had not done enough work to prove the projects safety.

In 2016, the IESC, with some newly-appointed experts on the committee, came to a different conclusion. The committees advice may have changed, but the situation for the Central Coast community has not.

Why are the Federal Liberal Government and the NSW Liberal Government putting a speculative coal mine before the security of our drinking water?

The NSW Liberals have earmarked our region for rapid population growth by 2030.

The Central Coast already has a small and stressed water catchment.

We cannot afford the devastation this longwall coal mine will cause coupled with a drought.

During the millennial drought the Central Coasts dam levels dropped to below 10%.

Over 50% of the water in our dams comes from aquifers in the valleys where the mine will be located. If those aquifers are damaged by this coal mine our water supply is at risk.

Our Council is just today introducing water restrictions as our dams sit at 50%.

Our community has been abandoned by Minister Prices reckless decision to approve this coal mine.

The safest way to stop this mine and protect our water supply is to elect a NSW Labor government.