Coffs Council joins Clarence Valley Council in it’s stance against mining


COFFS Harbour City Council has thrown its support behind Clarence Valley Council’s stance to oppose mining in areas affecting the Clarence River Catchment.

Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight moved a Mayoral Minute at Council’s recent meeting on Thursday 26 August calling on Council to support the stance of Clarence Valley Council, following her receipt of a letter from Clarence Valley Council calling for Coffs Harbour City Council’s support.

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Clarence Valley Council has adopted a position to oppose mining in the Clarence River Catchment and to seek both Federal and State Government support to impose a moratorium on further mining exploration licences and to cancel existing licences.

Clarence Valley Council documents state there are a number of mining exploration licences active within the Valley and “the potential for pollution of the waters of the Clarence and Nymboida River systems is high”.

According to Clarence Valley Council there are three companies who appear to be advanced in exploration activities with some potential to go to mine production in the near future including Corazon at Gordon Brook (copper-cobalt-gold), Castillo Copper at Cangai, Sons of Bavaria are looking for copper/gold at Ewingar, and an additional exploration application for gold and silver has been made by Wilson Investments near Coramba/Nana Glen and an area 25kms south west of Grafton.

“The current exploratory mining and the potential for full scale mining has created great concern in the local community,” Clarence Valley Council documents stated.

A Coffs Harbour City Council report on the issue stated that “parts of the Coffs Harbour LGA feed into the Clarence River Catchment”.

“Mining conducted in a designated water catchment presents risks to water quality,” the report stated.

“Existing regulation and checks on mining company’s activities at State level is the only current protection from substandard mining practices.”

Cr Sally Townley supported Clarence Valley Council’s stance which she said “is effectively seeking a moratorium on future mining in the Clarence Valley”.

“It’s a really important water system, and also forms a part of our drinking water supply,” Cr Towley stated.

“There’s a huge amount of mineral exploration in the area, and in fact in our own local government area.

“I think this is just recognising that the community at large are stakeholders and have expressed this view.”

Cr Townley displayed some images at the Council meeting which depicted how significant the mining leases in both the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour regions are.

“It’s a huge LGA (Clarence Valley); lots and lots of mining exploration, basically concentrating on the river valleys,” Cr Townley said.

“Probably a quarter of our local government area is actually covered under exploration licences at the moment, including almost the entirety of the Orara Valley.

“It is potentially significant.”

Councillors resolved 7 votes to 1 for Coffs Harbour City Council to support the adopted stance taken by Clarence Valley Council to oppose mining in areas affecting the Clarence River Catchment.

Councillors Denise Knight, Michael Adendorff, John Arkan, George Cecato, Keith Rhoades, Tegan Swan and Sally Townley supported the motion, and Cr Paul Amos voted against the motion.



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