Wambo coal mine dam failure highlights dangers of mining in water catchments and farming areas
MEDIA RELEASE – 13 January 2016
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the dam failure that the NSW Environmental Protection Authority says has spilled up to three million litres of sediment-laden water at Peabody’s Wambo coal mine in the Hunter Valley, demonstrates why new coal mines and mine expansions should be prohibited in drinking water catchments and in key farming areas like the Liverpool Plains and Southern Highlands.
“This shocking pollution incident highlights why the government should prohibit coal mining in good farming areas and in drinking water catchments,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“This massive spill follows recent pollution incidents at the Clarence colliery near Lithgow and Russell Vale coal mine near Wollongong and highlights the dangers of coal mining to both the natural environment and human health.
“If the Shenhua Watermark mine goes ahead in the Liverpool Plains, we could have similar pollution incidents potentially wrecking the best agricultural soils in Australia.
“How long will we continue to allow the coal industry to pollute the environment and destroy the climate when there are viable, cleaner and safer alternatives sources of energy?
“There is a massive global oversupply of coal and many companies are going bankrupt. The Baird government should formulate a strategy to phase out coal in NSW, with a ban on new coal mines as the first step.
“Peabody should face the full force of the law and I urge the EPA to keep the public informed of the investigation.”
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916