Water catchment the focus of Chinese and NSW delegations to Illawarra
by Louise Negline
Posted Thu 7 Nov 2013, 11:23am AEDT
Lake Cordeau, NSW
PHOTO: Illawarra Coal operates a longwall coal mine under the streams and upland swamps that drain into Lake Cordeaux (pictured). (ABC)
MAP: Wollongong 2500
A delegation of Chinese water scientists has visited the water conservation group Rivers SOS to learn more about damage to catchment areas from mining.
The scientists are from the department of ocean and fisheries from the Hainan Province.
Rivers SOS delivered a presentation of mine damage in Sydney’s catchment special areas.
Caroline Graham from Rivers SOS says her group asked the delegation to take a message to the Chinese Government to stop buying coal that comes from special catchment areas in the Illawarra.
“It was a really good opportunity because they were very sympathetic after seeing the actual maps of the special areas of Sydney’s drinking water catchment and how small they are and how important they are,” she said.
“And they realised that they shouldn’t be mined underneath when we showed them the damage that’s been done to the swamps and the river systems.”
Meanwhile, a group of NSW MPs visited Sydney’s drinking water catchment on Thursday to view the impact of longwall mining from BHP’s Billiton’s Dendrobium mine.
The catchment walk was arranged by the Nature Conservation Counsel to highlight the damage to upland swamps in the Cordeaux catchment west of Wollongong.
Earlier this year the ABC reported that riverbeds and swamps were dying off as a result of longwall mining from the Dendrobium mine.
The swamps are critical filters that remove contaminants from Sydney and the Illawarra’s drinking water.
The ABC understands the member for Heathcote Lee Evans and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward were among the politicians who attended.