Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Pumping Newnes Plateau dry and swamp damage

Sucking Newnes Plateau dry

Coal mining between the Bell Rd and the Darling Causeway bordering the Grose Valley has diverted water from creeks above (e.g. Jungaburra Brook) into Canyon mine, which discharges polluted water into the Grose River catchment (from "Back from The Brink, Chapter 11" Andy MacQueen, 1997, Andy MacQueen Publ., ISBN 0 646 31901 9). Mining ceased over a decade ago, but the pollution continues.

To the north, 37,250,000 litres are pumped each day from the Clarence, Angus Place and Springvale mines that operate under Newnes Plateau, putting the Nationally Endangered Shrub Swamps on the Plateau at risk. Every litre that goes to the power station is one less for streams and swamps.

Ten years ago, Centennial Coal announced that it intended to stop the discharge of 15ML/day of polluted water from Clarence Colliery into the Wollangambe River and the World Heritage Area. It said at the time that continued the pollution 'is not an option that is acceptable to Centennial'. In 2005 the mine was greatly expanded, but the discharges into the World Heritage Area continue.

In 2006 Centennial Coal won an environmental award for transferring 15.55 ML/day polluted water from its Springvale mine to Wallerawang Power station, and there are plans to also transfer the water from its Clarence mine as well. Another Centennial mine, Angus Place, pumps a further 6.7 million litres of polluted water a day to the Coxs River. The total amount of water being extracted by coal mining operations could suck Newnes Plateau dry.