Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham negotiates his way through a rocky patch in the Nymboida River.
Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham negotiates his way through a rocky patch in the Nymboida River.

Greens warn clean water at risk from rogue mining operations

STILL buzzing from the thrill of the ride, Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham finished his three day local rafting expedition with refreshed resolve to halt any mining that endangers water supplies.

Mr Buckingham took a break to experience rafting and paddling on the Nymboida and the Macleay Rivers and was joined by councillors and residents.

"It's clear from my three days on these stunningly beautiful rivers that these water resources must be protected from the potentially toxic and long lasting impacts of mining," he said.

"The Greens believe it is not responsible for governments to approve mining that risks polluting these rivers which are the life blood of regions the tourism, agriculture, fisheries and clean environment.

"The Greens do not oppose all mining.

"But mining toxic materials at the top of catchments, particularly in areas of high rainfall, is a dangerous idea that should be opposed.

"The precautionary principle should be applied to protect these rivers.

"The government has previously said their 'Strategic Regional Land Use Policy' would map areas where mining would be restricted.

"However, that policy and mapping seems to have stalled and there is no land use map for the Mid North Coast."

Greens spokesperson in Cowper, Carol Vernon, joined Mr Buckingham on the Macleay leg and added a Coffs Coast perspective to his words.

"Pollution of Wild Cattle Creek, The Blicks River or the Nymboida River will end up in the water supply from Sawtell to Yamba," she predicted.

"Antimony, arsenic and the toxic chemicals used in mining gold must be kept out of our water.

"The Save Our Macleay River group knows the dangers of continued mining in the catchment of the Macleay River.

"Local groups like the Save Our Macleay River group, Lock the Nambucca Valley, Dorrigo Environment Watch and the Blicks River Guardians will continue to keep us informed of the dangers that face our water supplies.

"They are to be commended for acting as protectors of our water but they need our support if they are to win against corporate mining interests and pro-mining politicians."