Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

A river killed, a power plant damaged and another mining industry award

“Today in the Herald we learn that pollution from Delta Electricity's Wallerawang power station has ‘killed' the Coxs River . Only last month, however, Springvale Colliery received an excellence in environmental management from Australian Mining for it's Water Transfer Scheme to the same power plant. The Scheme, which sucks 20 megalitres of water a day from Newnes Plateau for use in the power plant, is the main source of the contaminated water ,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.

“ The Colong Foundation has also recently learnt that in addition to the river pollution there has been a $25 million repair bill for the Wallerawang power plant caused by using salty water in the plant,” Mr Muir said.

“As a result of the pollution, the Kanangra Wilderness, one of the best wilderness areas in the State, has copped a titanic cleansing job. The wilderness removes metals and salt from the poisoned Coxs River to make it drinkable for Sydney residents. So the Colong Foundation gives an excellence in environmental achievement award to the Kanangra Wilderness for cleansing the pollution caused by Lithgow's mining and power industries ”, announced Mr Muir.

“If the NSW Government had not wrecked our planning laws, the upper Coxs River would not be dead and we would have saved a lot of money in power plant maintenance. An adequate environmental impact assessment for Springvale's massive water transfer scheme, along with proper public comment and review would have identified these pollution problems. The subsequent Government lobbying would have ensured the correction of the pollution problem,” said Mr Muir.

“Through open planning processes the Department of Environment and Climate Change can gain the political leverage it needs to impose strong water cleansing programs for the power stations and mines to restore river health. And the clean water when restored to the Coxs River would significantly lower the maintenance costs at the Wallerawang power plant”, he said.

“It's not too late to stop the damage to our rivers and power plants. Our democracy can be repaired with improved planning laws, but we should act without delay”, Mr Muir said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir , (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob