It documents many poorly known mine impacts in and around the Blue Mountains area. Several continue to pollute waterways decades and even a century after the mines stopped commercial production. Pollution often damages world heritage area waterways. It asks the question: "what will happen when the active mines close and who will clean up the mess?"
James O'Connor is an environmental film maker who has produced a series of documentaries including "The People Against Russell Vale Mine", “The Greater Glider” for Nature Conservation Council, “Lost World” and "Frogs and the Impacts of Coal Mining".
Contribute via Documentary Australia
I am a member of the public who cares about the protection of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA). In particular, I am concerned about the impacts of mining after viewing the recently released documentary ‘Mining the Blue Mountains’ which outlines the work of Dr Ian Wright and his team of researchers investigating pollution in the Grose Valley wilderness and its waterways.
The film describes the improvement in ecological condition of the Wollangambe River between 2012 and 2021 as a result of site-specific environmental licencing, specifically the review of Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) 726 in 2014. This was an excellent review which called for public submissions and involved consultation with environment groups. The EPA also commissioned an independent assessment of the river by the Office of Environment and Heritage which found “a clear need to review the limits for metals and conductivity” (salinity levels) in the discharge.
While it is extremely positive that the levels of heavy metals such as nickel and zinc were reduced because of the 2014 licence review, I am aware that high levels of salinity continue to be discharged from Clarence Colliery. I am also aware that it can be difficult for the public to know about licence reviews if they are not well advertised to the community.
I therefore ask that:
• action be taken to reduce the salinity levels discharged by Clarence Colliery as per the OEH recommendations; and
• Environmental Protection Licencing reviews such as those affecting the GBMWHA be more widely advertised to the community.
Ministers Email: [email protected]