Author Jackie French (of the Araluen Valley) is calling for everybody to use their research skills and resources >>>>>to hunt for flaura/fauna studies for the area surrounding Major’s Creek which can be used to prevent the Dargue’s Reef mine proposal<<<<<
The Dargue’s Reef Mine proposal concerns us Canberrans, because the major waterways/water supplies of our favourite summer hide out, the South Coast, will be threatened with some pretty serious chemicals used in gold mining. Google it, its nasty stuff.
Jackie has also offered expenses and board for students/biologists/people who can identify the below species to come and take note of, and collect evidence, to demonstrate the range of endemic and endangered species in the surrounding areas.
This needs to be done now as the Federal government will announce any day now a ten day period for public submissions following its assessment of the proposal under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Everyone and anyone can also write a letter (or forward on the template that Jackie has written) outlining their concern for the proposed development. The more letters the better.
Jackie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info: the detailed version>>>>>>>
Opportunity to help save Araluen Valley/Major’s Creek Reserve/Deua national park/Araluen, Deua and Moruya rivers from Dargues Reef Development (Gold Mine)
A call for urgent assistance from Author Jackie French
The Department of Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities has just listed the proposed Dargues Reef Development for assessment under the EPBC Act, and approval before it can proceed.
This means there will be a brief ten day period where the public can make submissions – State and Federal legislation these days gives the public and independent investigations into developments no time to make proper assessments.
The Major’s Creek State Reserve and the Araluen gorge is a place of wonder, with more than thirty rare and endangered species, from the Araluen gum to endangered fish, powerful owls, and the green and golden bell frog, that have survived in its shelter and microclimates. It’s unlikely though that they can survive a mine and ore processing centre just upstream of them.
What happens now:
The Department has asked the developer for further information. Once that has been provided, the public will have its ten day chance to comment again.
This may be in about three weeks time, but it may be longer. It may also be possible to have an extension to comment of the developer’s submission, but it is unlikely that this will be more than a few days- not enough time for a full environmental assessment to be done.
What needs to be done now:
This will probably be the last chance to establish what rare, endangered and critically endangered species exist 1-6 km below the mine site, and how they may be affected by the mining, the loss of water to ore processing, and the chemicals used in that processing.
There have been many studies done of this area in the past thirty years, but I haven’t kept a record of them, or even of those who did them.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you know of any flora or fauna studies that have been done in the Araluen Valley, Major’s Creek Reserve, Deua national park, or Araluen, Deua or Moruya rivers, PLEASE CONTACT ME. Utilize your research resources and research skills!
If any students, or experts on any area, would like to spend a day walking through an almost bewildering beautiful gorge, to note or photograph the species there, could you contact me? We would happily provide accommodation, and pay any expenses involved. A night’s study of frog calls or noting the various species of bat here would also be wonderful, or help assessing the developer’s submission.
If you can send in a submission with information about the risks to the species below, please do. Otherwise if you can just send the email below, it will at least show that enough people care to comment- even on a proposal listed during the holiday season.
Heading: Dargue’s Reef Mine Proposal
To Environment Minster Tony Burke
I wish to comment on the Dargue’s Reef Mine proposal at Major’s Creek, NSW.
I am concerned that no study has been done on the threatened, endangered and critically endangered species below the mine site, nor has there been any testing done on the effect of drilling on the aquifer below the mine site, nor on the possibility of changes to the ph of the water table.
The area from 1.5-6km directly below the mine site contains the Major’s Creek National park Reserve and the Major’s Creek gorge. This area contains possibly a greater diversity of species than any other in Australia, due to its steepness, inaccessibility and extraordinary range of microclimates.
I submit that:
. a full study be done of all species directly below the mine site before approval is given for any development
. that the full scale of the proposed development be considered, not the far smaller initial development currently offered for consideration
.that no use of Xanthate or large amounts of concrete be permitted above such a fragile ecosystem, as any change to the ph of the aquifer may be devastating to the endangered species and rainforest community below it.
. that no tailings dam be permitted above such a fragile ecosystem, and that if any development were to be approved, the tailings dam be moved 1.5- 2.5 KM over the ridge to a far gentler slope, where there are no endangered species, and rough grazing land instead of the precipitous and fragile gorge ecosystems
. that no development be approved under test bores have been established and tests have been done to monitor the true movement of ground water in the area. Note: no such tests have been done by Cortona limited. Any claim that such tests have been done should be substantiated.
. that the Federal Government list and protect the following rare or endangered species that exist below the Dargue’s Reef Mine site: -Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), Barking Owl (Ninox connivens), Majors Creek Leek Orchid(Prasophyllum sp. Majors Creek) Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby (petrogale penicillata), Gang-gang Cockatoo, , Bettong, Red Goshawk, Little Pied Bat, Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensi) the Araluen python (Liasis sp.) not yet formally identified but visually distinct from any other known python species, and the Araulen Grasslands Community, listed as threatened by the NSW Government.
. that the Minister protect the threatened, endangered and critically endangered species listed below,
Federally listed animals within four kilometres directly downstream of the mine site include:
New Holland mouse (Pseudomys novaehollandiae)
Zieria adenophera (Araluen Zieria)
Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides)
Araluen Gum (Eucalyptus kartzoffiana)
Grey Deua Pomaderris (Pomaderris gilmourii var. cana)
Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)
Threatened Community Listing
Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thckets of Eastern Australia
The Major’s Creek Gorge, 1.5-4 Km downstream of the proposed development, contains one of the few existing remnants of the Backhousia myrtifolia, Ficus Coronata and tree fern rainforest, with it’s many dependent species. While other small remnants remain elsewhere, the Major’s Creek gorge is probably the most extensive. Due to the inaccessibility it has survived increased settlement and feral animal invasion as well as long periods of extreme drought, so has an excellent chance of continued survival, unless affected by a change in ph of the groundwater.
If you can help, please do contact me, and many many thanks, Jackie French. Jackie French
The Major’s Creek gorge contains possibly a greater variety of species than any similar area in Australia, including rare and endangered rain forest, partly because the steepness of some of the country means it inaccessible even to feral goats, but also because of its extraordinary range of microclimates. It would take several books and several years to do justice the species there, and their ecology, not ten days.
I’ve studied some of the species there for nearly forty years, but have little or no knowledge of others, like the endangered orchids others have told me are found here, the Eastern Bent Winged Bat, or the climbing Galaxid fish that has been found in Major’s Creek and the Deua river and various insect life.
Please- if you have any knowledge of these species, or know anyone else who does, help is desperately needed. The only way the department will know about these species is if the public tell them – ASAP. The mining company have done no flora or fauna studies in the area downstream.
It now appears that the Dargue’s Reef Mine will be at least three times larger than the development described in the present submission. Ore from other areas will be trucked to Major’s Creek and processed with Xanthate in the tailings dam at the headwaters of Major’s Creek, which flows into the Araluen, Deua and Moruya Rivers. The company propose to fill the mine with tailings mixed with concrete.
This will be a massive development. Any leak or failure of the tailings dam may mean disaster downstream, and death and possible extinction to anyone or anything downstream. Even without an accident to the tailings dam, any lowering of the water table, or, almost as bad, changing the ph from the alkaline concrete, may also mean that native species die.
Please- help us if you can.
What is the EPBC Act?
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places — defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance.
Urgent Message from Jackie French
The Environmental Impact Assessment, very very concerning indeed