Don’t sell Macquarie River water to McPhillamys Gold Mine

MEDIA RELEASE – 8 December 2015

Greens NSW water spokesperson and former Orange City Councillor, Jeremy Buckingham today called on Bathurst Council to reject the application from Regis Resources to buy Bathurst’s recycled water to use at the proposed open cut McPhillamys gold mine at Kings Plains, near Bathurst.

Bathurst currently uses anywhere from 8 to 45 million litres of water per day, but recycles and returns an average of around 8 million litres per day of that water to the Macquarie River.

“Bathurst’s treated effluent should continue to be returned to the Macquarie catchment for the health of the whole river system and its biodiversity, for agricultural use, and to protect the communities and farms dependent on its water,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“It is irresponsible to sell water that is needed for the ongoing health of our region’s river and its communities, especially as we know climate change will mean rising temperatures and more severe droughts in the Macquarie catchment in the future.

“A healthy Macquarie River is vital for the Bathurst region and the Central West to support its growing population and sustainable long-term business investment to the area.

“I urge Bathurst Regional Council to reject this purchase offer and to protect this vital water resource for current and future generations,” Mr Buckingham said.

Central West Greens spokesperson and former Bathurst Deputy Mayor, Tracey Carpenter said:

“Once Bathurst Council signs a contract there is no going back.

“Selling this water risks leaving our community beholden to a gold mining company’s demands, and will reduce our long term water security.

“The loss of this water will degrade the already struggling river system including our precious fish stocks, lower the water table and impact upon creeks and bores.

“It will also increase financial and productivity risks for farmers, as well as impacting on property owners and biodiversity with the installation of yet another pipeline, from Bathurst to King’s Plains,” Ms Carpenter said.

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