Jerrys Plains locals gathered on Saturday to alert the broader community about the perils facing their town and district by current mining activity and mine proposals.
|Jerrys Plains locals|
The group erected an arresting series of four billboards displaying the prime agricultural land in the area, and dire pictures of what will become of the district should the current mining proposals proceed.
Local resident Bryan Chapman said, “We want people driving through this very fertile land to understand that it is under immediate threat from coal mining. What they see now – the world-class horse studs, the vineyards, the super-productive farmland – will be turned into an enormous underground and open-cut coal pit. The coal will be shipped overseas and burnt, and what’s left of the water will be turned into poisonous waste.”
The signs were designed and funded by the “Jerrys in Jeopardy” community group, formed to alert the community to the imminent threats posed to the district by mining proposals that encircle – and undermine – the district.
Local farmer Ian Moore is dismayed at the prospects for Jerrys Plains should all the proposals go ahead. “One of the main problems – corruption notwithstanding – is that each mine and mine extension is looked at in its own right, without taking into account the cumulative impacts of all the other current and proposed mining activity. If every mining proposal for this area goes ahead, combined with what’s already going on, Jerrys Plains and this entire community will cease to exist. With it will go the land that produces the finest food, wine and thoroughbreds that Australia and the world have to offer.”
Earlier this year, Jerrys in Jeopardy hosted a community meeting where over 100 local residents voted unanimously in support of a motion to suspend all new mining activity close to the historic village.
One of the proposals threatening the town is currently the focus of an ICAC inquiry, with explosive corruption allegations surrounding the granting of the controversial NuCoal/Doyles Creek Mining Exploration Licence. A proposed underground “training” mine, it claims it requires the coal resource of around 500 million tonnes to support the training of around 100 students. In the face of staunch local opposition, the company has continued to demand access to alluvial lands for exploratory drilling.