16 April, 2014

The Biggest Underground Coal Mine in the World


Please take one minute to send an email to protect our national food-bowl, the Liverpool Plains, and the rich groundwater supplies it depends on.

This is an urgent request. BHP are planning on digging the largest underground coal mine in the world under our very best farmlands, on the Liverpool Plains in north-west NSW. Submissions on the groundwater assessment for this mine are due on the 23rd February - that is just 6 days away. Can you help?

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The Namoi Alluvial Aquifer that the mine will impact on is a high-yielding and heavily-used water source that is needed for irrigation, stock and domestic and town water supplies. 
The Liverpool Plains is so important and unique because it combines exceptionally fertile volcanic soils with high output aquifers and reliable summer and winter rainfall.
Each year, the Plains produces enough grain for 365 million loaves of bread, 62.5 million packets of pasta, and 58 million boxes of cornflakes.  It is feeding the nation.
But all that is at risk from this staggeringly large underground coal mine.  A mine that will cut through aquifers and risk draining the precious groundwater.
Most extraordinary is the fact that BHP has decided that the mine will NOT have a significant impact on water resources and has told the Federal Government that it doesn't trigger the water clauses in the Federal environment laws.
We have a very short window of opportunity to tell them otherwise. The Federal Government is taking public comment until 23 April - that's next Wednesday!  
This is the very mine that triggered the reforms of Federal laws to include a scientific assessment of impacts on water resources just last year.  And now BHP are saying they don't need to abide by the new rules or refer the mine to the Independent Expert Scientific Committee.  If you need some background information, you can find it here.
The local community have been fighting this dangerous mine proposal for more than 5 years.  They really need your support now.
Make sure this enormous coal mine is subject to independent scrutiny and assessed using the best scientific methods.
Thanks so much,

Phil Laird
Lock the Gate Alliance

PS - You might have noticed that NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell announced today that he will resign next week, after evidence emerged at a corruption inquiry about a gift he recieve from a lobbyist. The corruption inquiry has exposed the secret, tangled relationships between corporate lobbyists and our politicians, which is undermining our democracy.  Therefore, we're calling on the incoming Premier to act urgently to put strict new rules on corporate lobbyists.  Check out our press release here, and stay tuned for more on this soon.

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