Residents act against sand mining
By Tracy Sorensen
Residents of Diamond Beach, a small town near Taree, have begun a petition campaign against a development application for sand mining by the Mineral Deposits company (a subsidiary of BHP Utah Ltd).
The Diamond Beach Sandmining Action Group says that mining, planned for a the Khappinghat wetlands, would threaten one of the few natural fish estuaries on the NSW coast, the environment of rare plant species and the habitat of rare or endangered fauna.
According to the action group, the development application is in breach of two sections of the National Parks and Wildlife Act, in that it would cause habitat destruction or degradation which would disturb endangered or protected species.
Local residents are angry that in January the state government — worried by an outcome against the interests of BHP — intervened on behalf of the application just at the point at which the local council appeared about to reject it.
"The appointment of a commission of inquiry by the Department of Planning at the very time it is apparent council will not approve the development application points to only one conclusion, that is, the Department of Planning's view is that the development application should be approved", said DBSAG committee member Glynis Smith.
For more information, contact Francina Mills at Diamond Beach on (065) 59 2727.