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The Coastwatchers Association Inc. is the leading community environmental and conservation group serving the South Coast of NSW, principally in the Shire of Eurobodalla between Narooma and Batemans Bay.

Welcome to our website. We aim to provide information and resources in this website such that it can be used as a significant community resource. We welcome comments or suggested improvements (click the envelope icon on the right to email).

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Dargues Reef Gold Mine Community Information Meeting Jan 30th 2019

DARGUES REEF GOLD MINE

MINER’S COMMUNITY INFORMATION MEETING

When 6.00 pm Wednesday 30 January

Where Majors Creek Hall

The operators/owners of the Dargues Gold Mine, Diversified Minerals Pty Ltd, will be holding a community information session to provide:

  • an update on the current status of the project,
  • milestones achieved and
  • future activities over the next 12 months.
  • The project update will cover
  • mill construction works,
  • finance and
  • introduce members of the construction and management team.

Questions will not be taken during the session, however discussions will be welcome after the formal talk. The meeting will break for tea/coffee and participants are encouraged to approach company members of the construction and management team with questions.

Richard Roberts

Member, Dargues Reef Community Consultative Committee

18 January 2019

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Update on the Dargues Reef Mine November 2018

Background: Gold was discovered at Majors Creek in 1870. Mining commenced in 1871 and lasted until 1890. It recommenced during the First World War from 1914 until 1916.

Reopening the Dargues Gold Mine at Majors Creek was again proposed in 2009. Approval was granted in 2012, after an unsuccessful appeal to the Land and Environment Court by Coastwatchers and others. Initial site works were completed in late 2013, and the mine was then placed into ‘care and maintenance’, while further development approvals were sought by Unity Mining Limited, including the on site processing of the gold using cyanide.

Following a major campaign by local environmental groups (including Coastwatchers) and the public, the miner removed the application for the use of cyanide. Approval to mine was granted in 2016 by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission. Unity Mining was then acquired by Diversified Minerals Pty Ltd, a private company based in Orange NSW.

Construction of surface infrastructure commenced in early 2017 and continues to this day. Work on the mine proper commenced in May 2018, and will be ongoing for some time. A cylindrical road will progress downwards to a great depth, and all ore will be trucked to the top along this spiralling road.

The ore will be semi processed in a processing plant, with construction of this plant commencing in January 2019. The ore was to be then finally processed into ingots at Parkes, but that was not approved. The gold concentrate will now be shipped in containers to Port Kembla and taken off shore for processing. This is years away and apparently China has withdrawn agreement. The option of final processing at the company’s Henty mine in Tasmania, may still be considered.

The Dargues Reef Community Consultative Committee was formed in 2011.  It meets quarterly at Majors Creek and comprises an independent Chair, the miners, local government and members of the community. The CCC works well principally because the Chair is truly independent and highly professional. The Minister for Planning makes all committee appointments and the Chair is the only one remunerated.

Changes: The miner is in the process of submitting a new amendment to the existing approval (Modification 4). It is in 3 parts, two of which are administrative, and one which theoretically impacts on ground work.

The first matter is that the miner has acquired an adjoining farm and that addition has to be added to their overall holdings specified in the existing DA. It may have been acquired to reduce noise complaints.

Secondly, the company structure of the Miner altered when Diversified Minerals Pty Ltd (unlisted) purchased Unity Mining Limited (was ASX listed- not now). A new company has been added to the mix called Dargues Gold Mine Pty Ltd, which is the operator of the project. This may present another legal impediment in the event of noise or other problems, particularly a massive spill into the Deua National Park and the Deua River.

The third issue involves the relocation of the proposed new vehicular crossing over Spring Creek, to remain at the existing creek cross over point. Spring Creek is the initial tributary of the Deua River. This appears to be preferable in all regards, especially environmental degradation, and may have been over-looked when Modification 3 was considered.

It is proposed that this new Modification 4 will be lodged with NSW Planning by 30 November 2018 and placed on public exhibition from 3 December for 2 weeks to 17 December 2018. The CCC next meets on 18 December. There has been strong objection to this timing, expressed with the opinion that it should be exhibited until the end of January 2019. It is not the substance of the modification proposed, but an abuse of the public scrutiny process, which includes the CCC.

26 November 2018

Our thanks to Richard Roberts, a Coastwatchers member and former Secretary, who is currently a member of the Dargues Reef Mine Community Consultative Committee.

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SHASA Media Release – Nature Coast or Developers’ Coast?

Media Release –

Broulee Meeting – Rural Lands Strategy 18 November 2018

A public meeting will be held on Sunday 18th November at 2pm at Captain Oldrey Park, Broulee to raise awareness and engage with the community about the effects of the proposed Rural Lands Strategy (RLS). This meeting follows on from that held at Mossy point and the recent meeting at Mogo which was facilitated by the shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch and the ALP candidate for Bega Leanne Atkinson. The Eurobodalla Shire is pushing on with its contentious RLS with Mayor Liz Innes repeatedly assuring residents that “it’s a done deal” and no further action from the Public will make any difference. In fact the changes require sign off by the NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts and with a state election coming up in March there is plenty that can be done.

People concerned about the nature of development in our shire are welcome to come along to this public meeting. Speakers, community group stalls and maps on display will help the public identify the areas concerned and what’s being proposed.

In a nut shell – the proposal will open up land to development across the whole shire and will impact adversely on coastal land, wetlands of national significance like Waldron’s Swamp and areas known to contain threatened species like the Yellow Bellied Glider. The RLS proposes to change the zoning, watering down environmental constraints important for protecting these wetlands and other areas of high conservation value. It will open up land for development which may significantly change the character of many areas of our shire. Many businesses that rely on the natural part of the Nature Coast could be adversely affected.

Many of the areas that will become open to development are sites that back onto our waterways. This will affect water quality, fish stocks, oyster beds, and adversely impact our estuaries and beaches.

Oyster growers are also very concerned about the impact of the proposed changes, noting that the pristine waterways of the Shire are of utmost importance to their businesses, and that increased development along creeks, rivers and lakes will endanger this multi million dollar Eurobodalla industry.

The cumulative impact of this RLS together with other proposed developments will adversely affect the nature of the Nature Coast.

The meeting is on Sunday 18th November at 2pm at Captain Oldrey Park, Broulee

Media Contact: Kathryn Maxwell, Chair Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance,

0467 558 645 or contact.shasa@gmail.com

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Public Meeting Notice – RLS – Nov 18th 2018

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Rural Lands Strategy Update from the Nature Coast Alliance

UPDATE ON THE RURAL LANDS STRATEGY/PLANNING PROPOSAL OCTOBER 2018

Most of you will be aware that Eurobodalla Shire Council adopted the Rural Lands Planning Proposal on 28 August 2018 as exhibited with only very minor changes.

Our monitoring suggests some 1100 submissions were received by Council by 28 August 2018. Of these, around 1000 objected strongly to the Planning Proposal and called for its withdrawal for an expert community review including by the NSW State Agencies which Continue reading

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UPDATE ON THE RURAL LANDS STRATEGY/PLANNING PROPOSAL OCTOBER 2018

Most of you will be aware that Eurobodalla Shire Council adopted the Rural Lands Planning Proposal on 28 August 2018 as exhibited with only very minor changes.

Our monitoring suggests some 1100 submissions were received by Council by 28 August 2018. Of these, around 1000 objected strongly to the Planning Proposal and called for its withdrawal for an expert community review including by the NSW State Agencies which have raised significant concerns. Some 14 community and conservation organisations registered their concerns and objections as well as five State Agencies. There are less than 50 submissions supporting the Proposal.

Whilst Council refused to withdraw or fundamentally amend the Proposal, the issue is not settled as the Mayor would have the community believe. The Proposal now goes to the Department of Planning for review prior to a decision by the Minister of Planning. The Alliance has met with the Regional Office of the Department which will carry out the review. We followed this up with a letter to the Department about our many concerns.

We are continuing the campaign against the Proposal and the next step is to get many letters signed and sent to Andrew Constance, MP for Bega. The Nature Coast Alliance is meeting with Mr Constance on 19 October. We ask community groups to network to their members and to write on behalf of your group as appropriate. This could make an important difference . So far over 500 letters have been signed.

Can you help with any of the following tasks:-

* Letterboxing Broulee, Tomakin and Mossy Point for a public meeting 18 November 2018.
* Regularly sending letters to local media editors, based on suggestions from the Alliance.
* Making contact with nature based businesses including nature based tourism, accommodation or recreation, the oyster industry or recreational fishing to encourage them to lobby the NSW Government.

Posted in Planning - Eurobodalla, Rural Lands Strategy Planning Proposal | Leave a comment

OEH response to Eurobodalla Rural Lands Strategy Planning Proposal June 2018

“The Office of Environment and Heritage has reviewed your latest planning proposal resulting from the Rural Lands Study. Given that none of the changes that we suggested in our 2016 submission on this planning proposal have been adopted, we still retain a number of objections to the proposal.”

OEH response to Eurobodalla Rural Lands Strategy Planning Proposal June 2018 (305KB .pdf)

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Ask the NSW Premier to end logging in state forests

Here’s a link to a page of the National Parks Association website, urging people and assisting them to send an email to Gladys Berejiklian urging her not to endorse the renewal of the Regional Forest Agreements, abandon radical changes to NSW logging laws, create the Great Koala National Park and commit to a just transition out of public native forest logging.

Please click through and have your say.

https://npa-nsw.good.do/endlogging/email-the-premier/

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Rural Land Services SE Submission to ESC re RLS – June 2018

Local Land Services SE submission re RLS June 2018 (106KB .pdf)

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NSW Rural Fire Service Letters to ESC re Rural Lands Strategy 2015, 2016, 2018

RFS RLS PP Response 28 June 2018 (5MB .pdf)

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