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Greens Push for Inquiry into the Impact of Metals Mining on Health and Environment

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
12 July 2023

Greens MP and mining and water spokesperson Cate Faehrmann is pushing for an urgent Upper House Inquiry into the impact of gold, silver, lead and zinc mining on human health and the environment. 

It follows recent revelations that dust pollution from Cadia Gold Mine near Orange potentially contributed to the presence of lead and other heavy metals in nearby residents’ blood and rainwater, with other similar projects in the pipeline.

Greens MP and mining and water spokesperson Cate Faehrmann is pushing for an urgent Upper House Inquiry into the impact of gold, silver, lead and zinc mining on human health and the environment. 

It follows recent revelations that dust pollution from Cadia Gold Mine near Orange potentially contributed to the presence of lead and other heavy metals in nearby residents’ blood and rainwater, with other similar projects in the pipeline.

“There’s never been a more important time to inquire into the way in which the mining sector is regulated, and whether or not communities and the environment are adequately protected”, said Ms Faehrmann.

“The current situation is outrageous with local communities having to undertake blood tests simply to justify their concerns,” Ms Faehrmann said.

“These are concerns that should have been addressed prior to approval. Now the Government is trying to shut the gate after the horse has bolted.”

Cadia Gold Mine opened in 1998, but other operators are seeking to undertake similar projects in NSW, with McPhillamys gold mine near Blayney and Bowdens lead and silver mine in Lue near Mudgee both having received approval within the last year.

“If approved, these mines will have irreversible impacts on local communities including families who have farmed the area for generations as well as on critical water supplies, including in the Murray-Darling Basin. Enough is enough.

“Frankly, an inquiry is long overdue in this State. We’ve got mining companies illegally taking water for their operations, local residents having to stop relying on their rainwater tanks because of pollution concerns, and government agencies acting too slowly and too softly. 

“Meanwhile we’ve got more companies looking to go digging for gold and other non-critical minerals in the Central Tablelands. In this rush for metals and critical minerals, we have to get the balance right because just as critical, in fact more so, is human health and a healthy and productive environment that sustains us for many generations to come,” said Ms Faehrmann.

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
12 July 2023
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