Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Conservationists protest Centennial Coal’s pollution and damage

Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness today convened a lunchtime demonstration outside the Sydney headquarters of Centennial Coal to protest the on-going pollution of rivers within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

“Twenty three million litres a day of mine effluent are sent down the Coxs River through the World Heritage Area and into Warragamba Dam from Centennial Coal’s Springvale mine,” Mr Muir said, after speaking at the demonstration.

“Centennial’s consultants estimate that this mine’s future discharges could increase salinity of Sydney’s main water supply by 6 per cent”, said Mr Muir.

“Nearby at Centennial’s Clarence Mine another nineteen million litres of toxic mine effluent are discharged each day into the Wollangambe River that flows through Wollemi, the largest wilderness in NSW.  Due to this discharge, the otherwise pristine Wollangambe River has lost 90 percent of its aquatic life for at least eighteen kilometres,” he said.

“To make this worse, Centennial has caused a large spill of coal fines that, due to this company’s tardy response, now covers eight kilometres of the Wollangambe River with a sticky black sludge.

“In addition to all this environmental abuse, Centennial now wants approval to undermine, damage and probably ruin 29 nationally endangered swamps on Newnes Plateau”, Mr Muir said. 

“We want national heritage protected. We want clean water, not waste. The health of the Coxs and Wollangambe Rivers must be restored”, said Mr Muir.

Kate Smolski of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW;
Brian Marshall of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society; and
Isabell Macintosh of the Protect Sydney’s Water Alliance
also addressed the lunchtime rally.

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

See also for a background briefing on various Centennial Coal issues.