Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Will the Giant Dragonfly stop the Springvale Mine?

Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said that “Springvale mine expansion proposal must not proceed unless the swamp habitat of the threatened Giant Dragonfly is protected.  

“The Giant Dragonfly (Petalura gigantea), as well as the Blue Mountains Water Skink and Boronia deanei, are threatened species and all are dependent upon nationally endangered Newnes Plateau swamps that Centennial Coal proposes to undermine.  The Giant Dragonfly nymph lives in a deep burrow for up to ten years, safe from predators, drought and bushfire.  It has survived for 160 million years and has a wingspan of 13cm, but is now at risk from the Springvale’s longwall mining proposal,” Mr Muir said.

“The Giant Dragonfly nymph needs a wet burrow to survive.  Longwall mining causes the surface rocks below swamps to crack, draining swamps and killing swamp dependent life including the dragonfly.  In 2005 the NSW Scientific Committee for threatened species has designated longwall mining as a key threatening process due to the damage it causes to swamps”, Mr Muir said.

“Tomorrow, in Lithgow, a second Planning Assessment Commission hearing on the proposed Springvale mine extension will give 29 nationally threatened swamps a second chance at protection,” he said.

Coal Conservation no longer a consideration

“This week’s change to the State’s Mining Policy removed the requirement that made coal resources the primary consideration in decision making.  Coal conservation, where the amount of coal produced by a mine is maximised, is now a dead and buried concept. 

“Climate change is upon us and it’s time for swamp conservation to replace coal conservation, said Mr Muir.

“The 75 hectares of nationally endangered within the proposed 1850 hectare mine extension area must be protected.  The Giant Dragonfly has a right to exist beyond the 13 year life of this mine proposal”, Mr Muir said. 

The Second Planning Assessment Commission hearing for the Springvale mine extension will be held in Lithgow at the Union Theatre, 63-65 Bridge Street. Hearing starts 8.30am

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