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Published on Mar 1, 2015

The Liverpool Plains needs your help and there isn't much time left!


In January 2015, the NSW State Government gave approval to Shenhua, a Chinese government owned entity, to mine in the heart of the Liverpool Plains. The Liverpool Plains is in northwest NSW and is known as one of the agricultural wonderlands of the world. It is famous for its rich black moisture retaining soils and mild climate – all essential for the production of food and fibre. It has vast dry land agricultural properties and a very intensive irrigation industry. The irrigation industry is heavily regulated and monitored enabling sustainable use of the vast aquifers under the plains. These aquifers are part of the Namoi Catchment which holds the largest body of water in the Murray Darling Basin. When combined both dryland and irrigated farms on the Liverpool Plains produce 40% above the National Average for agriculture. The Liverpool Plains are seen as the most drought resistant and reliable food producing region in NSW and is considered an agricultural farming Wonderland equivalent to the Nile Delta and the Ukraine.

Throughout the plains are small ridges, essential for providing run-off and extra water to the plains. These ridges not only host a wide range of biodiversity, but also NSW’s most significant Koala population and aboriginal sites critical to our Aboriginal People.

The Shenhua mine will effectively truncate the Koala corridor to the east coast. Sadly in uncertain times of climate change, the Koalas need this corridor to escape summer heat and dryness. The vegetation located where the proposed mine is located, is considered ideal for the Koalas and any offsets offered by Shenhua are an inferior quality. The fate of the Koalas has been described as genocide.

There are many significant aboriginal sites located throughout the project but our Gomeroi people believe that the Shenhua mine project has not been sufficiently surveyed. Among the many examples of Aboriginal heritage are sharpening grooves which are critical to Aboriginal people’s spirituality and sense of belonging and country. Shenhua has offered to relocate these stones but being large and made of sandstone it is believed that removal will inadvertently crack these stones. The significant meaning of these stones will be lost on relocation. This is important not just to the Gomeroi people but to all Australians.

This community has fought to defend the Liverpool Plains since 2006. We have asked for the science to be proven that our aquifers will not be destroyed. We have blockaded for over 600 days to achieve an independent catchment wide water study. We have won court cases in the Supreme Court and held the first blockade for 32 days against CSG. Our fight to protect the Liverpool Plains has been long and sustained. Surely in this era of global warming, this mine, proven to be uneconomical and not in the public interest, is just one mine too many?

Funds are needed urgently to raise awareness of this situation and continue our fight. Can you help us fight for the Liverpool Plains?

#wrongminewrongplace #ShenhuaWatermark

Video shot and edited by Ross Waldron (www.rosswaldron.com)


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