The objections of thousands of local residents to Boral’s plans to expand their Dunmore sand mining operations has been lodged in NSW Parliament today.
Almost 5000 signatures were presented to Independent NSW MP Justin Field who tabled the petitions in the Legislative Council. The petitions called on the NSW Government to “oppose the Boral proposal and any new sand mining that risks the environmental, recreation and tourism values of the region”. The petition highlighted the risks to endangered ecological communities and of the impact on the Minnamurra River estuary.
The petition signatures have been gathered over the last six months, including at a major rally at Minnamurra in July when almost 1000 people formed a human sign saying ‘NO Boral Sand Mine” on the Minnamurra headland. Boral is currently seeking planning approval to dig two new sand mining pits within 150 metres of the Minnamurra River wetlands. Over 140 submissions were made to the state’s planning department against the proposal including from Kiama and Shellharbour Councils.
Gerroa Environment Protection Society President Warren Holder, who has been supporting the Friends of Minnamurra campaign and presented the petitions to Mr Field, said, “the community has spoken. This is the wrong place for sand mining and we want the Government to reject the Boral proposal. Kiama and Shellharbour councils both oppose this proposal, the State Member opposes the proposal and thousands have signed petitions opposing the proposal. It’s just too risky. We’ve still got serious concerns that the Environmental Impact Assessment has failed to recognise some of the significant impacts of the proposal. The suggestion seems to be that the animals that rely on these critical habitats can just move on and come back once mining has finished. That’s simply unacceptable.
Mr Field said, “The NSW Government should listen to the community on this one. This has to be the line in the sand for the Dunmore operations. They can’t keep moving closer to the river. They need to look for alternative sand resources if they want to keep mining sand in the region. There are unacceptable risks to the future health of the Minnamurra River and to the plants and animals that live along the edge of the estuary. This campaign has brought together everyone who cares about the river including environmentalists, fishers, members of the local communities, and regular visitors. The proposal should be rejected,’