Author suggest angst over mining is growing

AFTER writing Rich Land Waste Land, author Sharyn Munro has delivered a talk about the work behind the book 87 times.

She described Camberwell residents Wendy Bowman and Deidre Olofsson as her heroes when addressing a gathering on Saturday afternoon in support of the Hunter Environment Lobby.

Ms Munro said she was snapped into action to write the book because of her concerns for her grandchildren’s future.

The book tells the story of coal, how people are hurting, and rebelling, as coal pushes into  their backyards.

She told the group that the  environmental legacy being left by an industry on steroids was something future generations would be left to live with.

Ms Munro has travelled Australia, speaking with people who have been adversely impacted by mining and the toll is starting to show.

Tearing up, Ms Munro said she gained strength from people like Mrs Bowman and Mrs Olofsson who continued to make their voices heard in a bid to protect their homes and communities from the industry.

Ms Munro said the mood was changing across Australia as more people see the coal resource being ripped up with huge  profits heading overseas to foreign owned companies.

“More and more people are looking at the issues and now, with the expansion of the coal seam gas industry, there is a groundswell of opposition and concern,” Ms Munro said.

Bev Smiles from the Hunter Environment Lobby also spoke, explaining the process the lobby was undertaking to legally stop the Ashton South East Open Cut proposal.

This mining proposal was rejected by a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for two main reasons based on water and health.

The mining company, with the backing of the Department of Planning appealed the decision in the Land and Environment Court which sent the decision back so that a second PAC could assess the proposal.

That second PAC approved the mine largely because the NSW Office of Water had changed their position.

The Department of Health remains opposed to the project.

Hunter Environment Lobby has now launched an appeal against that second approval and the case goes to court on August 26.

Afterwards, Ms Smiles said the event held at the Rosedale property at Camberwell, was a good opportunity for people to come and see where the impacts of mining were being felt.

“It was a good opportunity for people to catch up with one another, hear the background and support the cause,” Ms Smiles said.

Lyn MacBain also spoke during the event, giving an insight into what life was like at Camberwell before mining.

She said coal was evident in the district as far back as 1840s when a local landholder was so impressed with the coal on his property that he entered it in the Northern Agricultural Show of that year.

CATCH UP:  Camberwell residents Wendy Bowman, (left) and Deidre Olofsson (right) with author Sharon Munro who spoke about her book at Camberwell on Saturday.

CATCH UP: Camberwell residents Wendy Bowman, (left) and Deidre Olofsson (right) with author Sharon Munro who spoke about her book at Camberwell on Saturday.

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