Australia Coal Alliance has spread its wings to help residents
living in the northern suburbs of Wyong Shire in their fight against
LDO Coal. Known as the 'Australian Coal Alliance - Northern
Division', its membership will consist of local residents who can
draw upon the resources and expertise of the parent body.
A stark reminder of previous
coal mining damage at Chain Valley Bay - Karignan Creek, which ran
adjacent to the wetlands, was subjected to subsidence causing a rise
in water level on the northern side of the creek. As a result,
thousands of eucalypts died when salt water from the creek
permanently invaded the area.
Chain Valley Bay was undermined previously by the since-closed
Newvale Colliery and became the site of a major mine subsidence
controversy in 1987, which ruined the wetland and damaged homes and
infrastructure. Since then, the damage to many homes and the
area has not been adequately compensated by the NSW State
Government through the Mine Subsidence Board. This has caused untold
heartbreak and financial hardship to home owners, who still feel
that they were abandoned by all tiers of government and in
particular the mining company.
The communities across Mannering Park, Chain Valley Bay, Lake
Munmorah and Gwandalan/Summerland Point feel that enough is enough.
They are sick and tied of being treated with contempt and given the same
old shallow rhetoric - "trust us, we're a mining company." People
are dismayed and fear a repetition of the Chain Valley Bay South
The new owners of the Chain Valley coalmine want to expand the mine
into two seams under residential areas of Chain Valley Bay,
Gwandalan and Summerland Point and mine for the next 21-years. Peter Ross, operations director for
the mining company, said “We are aware there have been concerns but
we do not intend to have a negative impact on the community.” The
same old song and dance performance given by the previous miners to
allay community fears, but history tells another story.
These areas have already been mined two or three times in the
Wallarah, Chain Valley and Great Northern seams and there is fear
that a fourth working of the Fassifern seam or a re-working of the
Great Northern seam will have serious repercussions on homes,
particularly if the company use full extraction or longwall mining
methodologies. Residents quite rightly fear that the higher seams
may collapse into the seam below with catastrophic terrestrial
subsidence. Existing homes have been built for the potential of mine
subsidence in the current worked seams, not strengthened for
subsidence from future mining.
house disappeared into a mine at Catherine Hill Bay and homes have
been seriously damaged at Buff Point from previous mining activities.
Coal and Allied’s submission under Part 3A for a residential
development at Gwandalan, whole swathes of the land was quarantined
from any building type beyond a single storey and lightweight
material because of the existing fragility of the surface to
withstand mine subsidence.
Communities don't trust mining companies and have good reasons not
to! The bottom line is that
this new proposal is profit generated and local communities will
always come in a poor second when the "holy dollar" is involved.