- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Labor catches up, at last. Those pesky Greens again.

On the brink of voters going to the polls, it's a relief that finally Labor has caught up and 'discovered' the threat to the Clarence that has the capacity to ruin our water, devastate our rural industries and poison our people with toxic water. How convenient for Clarence Labor candidate, Peter Ellem, that his former boss, Labor's Janelle Saffin MP, has finally 'commenced some fact finding.'

What was Janelle Saffin doing while the Greens Jeremy Buckingham MLC was asking questions in parliament about this mine? While the ABC has been reporting Jeremy Buckingham's and Mark Graham's (Coffs Harbour Greens councillor) campaign, what was Janelle listening to? While Janet Cavanaugh has been pleading for protection of our river, water, forests and environment from the ravages of mining, Janelle has just 'commenced some fact finding'. Meanwhile, of course, the Nationals Luke Hartsuyker (member for Cowper) has thrown his support behind the Chinese-owned mine.

Just as well the Daily Examiner has been asking questions.

Sustainable jobs really matter to the Greens but these are short-term jobs from a mine that will last for years, not decades, and which has the capacity to permanently poison our water.

What was NSW Labor thinking of, when it issued the exploration licence for a toxic element in the headwaters of the Coffs-Clarence Regional Water Supply??

Both Labor and the Nationals have a history of putting jobs before the environment and local residents. The current jobs of the Clarence River industries - our agriculture, fisheries and tourism - must be protected.

What questions about this mine have you been asking in parliament, Janelle?

Significant threat to waterways

I was pleased to see the expanded Daily Examiner coverage online of a mooted mining exploration project (DEX 5 October, 2011 "Significant threat to waterways"), having been alerted to the growing concern in the area by a Dorrigo resident and having just commenced some fact finding to see if the project would impact in our backyard. (Yes, it is a clear case of protecting your own backyard.)

The Daily Examiner asked all the right questions - questions which the Federal National Party MP Luke Hartsuyker should be asking. 
Granted, 60 new jobs would be of great benefit to the region but what if those jobs are at the expense of hundreds of other jobs lost as the result of contamination of the Clarence River, impacting on industries such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries?

We need to carefully consider any threat of contamination of our water supply.
The water supply that provides, among other things, drinking water, irrigation and commercial and recreational fishing activities for the Clarence Valley and surrounds.

Through earlier "NOT A DROP" campaigns started by the Daily Examiner, I have made it abundantly clear of my commitment to the Clarence River not losing a drop of water, despite questionable schemes such as diverting the Clarence inland.
This time "NOT A DROP" means we don't poison a drop of Clarence water, as the history of this type of mining is littered with pollution of waterways, water sources and nearby communities.

Mr Price of Anchor Resources is quoted as saying: "Using world best practice, there will be no contamination."
I have written to Mr Price on our behalf to ask him what "world best practice" actually involves and how it would prevent one iota of poison from entering the Clarence catchment.
I shall keep constituents informed through the local media of the progress of my approach to Anchor Resources.

JANELLE SAFFIN, MP Federal Member for Page, Letter to the Editor, October 25

From A Clarence Valley Protest.
The Daily Examiner, letters to the editor, 25 October 2011

Janelle, your backyard is also the Clarence electorate's backyard and Australia's backyard. No Australian deserves a toxic mine. The residents of the already poisoned Macleay River catchment certainly don't. Let's leave these toxic elements in the ground. You know that any guarantees by an overseas owned mine will be worthless.

Posted by John Vernon for the Clarence Greens

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