Destruction of rivers, streams and wetlands, clearing of forests and woodlands, pollution of air and water, loss of rich farmland, destruction of ancient cultural heritage and irreversible harm to drinking water catchments.
These are the extraordinary environmental and social impacts occuring across NSW as a result of rapid and unrestrained expansion of the mining and coal seam gas industry, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“Mining and gas development poses a severe and rapidly growing threat to water, wildlife and public health,” said Pepe Clarke, NCC Chief Executive Officer.
“On 1 May, concerned citizens from all walks of life will be rallying outside Parliament House to demand that the NSW Government protect our land, water and local communities.
“From the drinking water catchment of Sydney to the iconic Pilliga forest, mining and gas development is threatening the natural resources and environmental values that so many Australians hold dear.
“Our public lands are under very real threat, with more than half of our state forests and two thirds of our state conservation areas covered by mining and gas titles.
“Right now, our state forests are being bulldozed and burnt to make way for open cut coal mines. This destruction of our common heritage is unconscionable. These areas should be managed for the benefit of the community, not destroyed for private profit.
“Important wildlife habitat and rare native vegetation listed under state and federal environmental protection laws are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
“The draft land use plans released last month map high conservation value areas, but fail to provide clear legal protection for these areas.
“Carefully mapping the most important natural areas in the state, only to allow them to be destroyed by mining, is totally unacceptable. These places are too precious to destroy and impossible to replace.
“Unrestrained expansion of mining and gas will have serious impacts on community well-being, threatening the health, water supply and social fabric of local communities.
“Our supporters will be participating in the rally to send a strong signal to government that we expect stronger protection of natural areas, water resources and community health,” said Mr Clarke.
Protect our land and water rally: 12pm Martin Place Tuesday 1 May. Participating groups include: Nature Conservation Council of NSW, NSW Farmers Association, Country Women’s Association, Lock the Gate Alliance, GetUp! Stop CSG Sydney and Stop CSG Illawarra, Rivers SOS and coal and CSG action groups from around the State.