Recognizing long wall coal mining threat to Sydney Water Catchment Area is a step too far for Randwick City Council – 28th November 2013

Randwick Councillors have declined to support a Greens call for the banning of long wall coal mining in the water catchment areas of Sydney.

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Long wall coal mining may compromise Sydney’s drinking water.

The disappointed mover of the motion, Councillor Murray Matson, blamed the low profile of ‘long wall coal mining’ risks when compared to the high public knowledge about the alternative practice of ‘coal seam gas mining’.

He identified a need for more public awareness of long wall mining by Sydney residents and said after the meeting,

Many of my fellow Councillors were prepared to support a ban on coal seam gas mining, or CSG as it is known, but not were not willing to come at calling for a ban that would have included the different activity of long wall coal mining.

CSG is now a contentious and high profile mining activity in different areas of NSW and my fellow Councillors are right to be critical of it. But it is long wall mining that is being identified as the highest current threat to urban drinking water in the Sydney Water Catchment Area.”

Councillor Matson commends the recent formation of Protect Sydney’s Water, an alliance of more than 50 groups across Sydney Basin working together to protect the water catchments from destructive mining. He said,

I am confident that the new alliance will be able to raise public awareness and debate on the threat to our urban drinking water. And then local Councillors will begin to catch up on the issue. Just give them some time.”

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