Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Media Alert - Court Action to stop pollution of Sydney’s drinking water

Conservationists and concerned citizens will gather outside the Land and Environment Court in Macquarie Street next Monday at 9.30am May 9 to support 4nature’s legal action seeking effective protection of Sydney’s drinking water catchments.

4nature is taking Centennial Coal to court in an effort to stop the Springvale coal mine from polluting the Coxs River.  If this court action doesn’t stop the discharge of 19ML/day of toxic mine water, then the law* that’s supposed to prevent pollution of Sydney’s drinking water catchments is proven to be useless.  So the stakes could not be higher”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Last year the Planning Assessment Commission approved the mine discharge into the Coxs River as part of the Springvale mine expansion.  The mine’s toxic water flows through the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and then into Sydney's main water supply, Warragamba Dam.  If Sydney’s tap water is to remain amongst the best in the world, this mine water contamination must be stopped,” he said. 

“In a breaking development, Centennial Coal has lodged an application with the Department of Planning and Environment to remove the mine waste from the river and send it to the Mt Piper Power Plant.  So it looks like conservation groups that apply a ‘size 14 legal boot’ to polluters can get environmental remediation moving.  But it’s a pity that this transfer proposal wasn’t part of Centennial Coal’s recently approved mine expansion!”, Mr Muir said.

For more information contact: 
Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)
4nature: Andrew Cox, President on 0438 588 040

* State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) 2011 
requires development to have a neutral or beneficial effect on a drinking water catchment.