Geoff Helisma, Clarence Valley Independent
Glen Innes Severn Council (GISC) has voted to “support Clarence Valley Council (CVC) in seeking a moratorium on future mining and mining exploration in the Clarence Valley catchment”.
Mayor Carol Sparks tabled a mayoral minute at the May 27 GISC meeting, outlining her motivation to table the minute.
“Correspondence has been received from CVC, dated 12 May 2021, advising of its resolution to oppose future mining in the Clarence River catchment, following a petition signed by 10,000 Clarence Valley residents opposing mining, which will be tabled in the NSW Parliament.
“The correspondence notes that members of the Clarence Valley community are concerned that mining will not only have detrimental environmental effects but also puts at risk the drinking water for the Clarence and Coffs Harbour areas and significant industries like the fishing industry.
“Clarence Valley Council is seeking the support of adjoining councils for a moratorium on future mining.”
Councillors were split three to three; however, the mayor used her casting vote to push the motion over the line.
Mayor Sparks, who lives on the Mann River, which joins the Clarence River adjacent to mining the exploration area at Mt Gilmore, Coombadjha, said the natural phenomena of drought, fires, and floods in quick succession had “badly impacted” the Mann River’s health.
“We’ve lost so many animals … why not let the river rest for a while and let it recover,” she said.
“As human beings, we have to actively promote that climate change is here and we have to act on it.
“I want to get on with my coastal councils so when CVC asked for support, I thought it was an opportunity to show our support and try and help the river recover.”
The second part of GISC’s resolution noted: “that this moratorium does not include existing mines or quarrying activities”.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 9 June 2021.