Updated: September 11, 2012
No coal mining in the Fitzroy River!
Wilderness Society campaigners last week attended a Special General Meeting of Rey Resources Ltd in Perth to protest plans for coal mining in the Fitzroy River valley in the Kimberley.
The company’s environmental impact report for its proposed ‘Duchess Paradise’ mine is currently being assessed by the Western Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Commonwealth environment department.
The mighty Fitzroy River in Western Australia's Kimberley region – known to its Traditional Owners as 'Mardoowarra' – is one of Australia’s most important free-flowing rivers. It's full of wildlife, including 37 recorded native fish species, and the river’s health and productivity is vital for Indigenous communities along the length of the river.
During the wet season, the Fitzroy valley can become an inland sea, with roads, bridges and settlements under water for weeks. With CSIRO climate scientists warning that northern Australia is likely to experience more intense cyclones and rain events due to global warming, this river is certainly no place for coal mining!
Coal mining is risky at the best of times with concerns about above-ground and surface water pollution. As recent events in Queensland have shown, when large scale flooding occurs, coal mines are a real problem for the whole community.
If Rey pushes ahead with plans to develop the ‘Duchess Paradise’ mine (as the first stage in a much larger Fitzroy River coal mining push), investors and shareholders and the wider community will face major economic, environmental and social risks.
These include the dangers posed by huge coal trucks on public roads; and the risk of serious accidents and long delays due to the inadequate and risky port facilities at Derby.
Fortunately, Rey does not yet have a mining lease at Duchess Paradise and the environmental assessments of the proposed mine ought to rule out coal mining in this iconic river system.
The Wilderness Society urges Rey’s directors, shareholders and investors to dump plans for coal mining in the Fitzroy River valley and instead work with local communities to develop responsible, sustainable and renewable energy sources.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society WA Inc
City West Lotteries House
2 Delhi St
West Perth, WA, 6005
Phone: 08 9420 7255