East Gippsland Shire Council will oppose Glenaladale mine

Liz Bell

EAST Gippsland Shire Council has heeded the concerns of community members and will formally state its opposition to the proposed Fingerboards mineral sands mine at Glenaladale.

The council’s decision to write to the relevant government and statutory authorities follows a motion put forward by councillor Jackson Roberts during Tuesday night’s council meeting in Bairnsdale.

Resident and mine opponent Debbie Carruthers, who spoke at the meeting, said it was obvious the council had listened to residents and taken a strong stance to protect the environment.

“It was amazing,” she said.

“This shows that community action and people power works.”

Ms Carruthers said it was essential to consider the impacts “beyond the boundaries of the site” of proposed developments.

She said the “flow on” of potential contamination could affect the rivers and lakes systems around Gippsland, including in Wellington Shire.

“The mineral sands mine will be 500 metres from Lindenow’s multi-million dollar agricultural areas, and 350 metres from the Mitchell River,” she said.

“Community awareness about the risks is growing.

“It’s really important that local governments take a stance like this to represent residents, and it’s important that the environment minister knows that this community doesn’t want this mine.”

If approved, The Kalbar Resources’ open-cut mine would extract minerals including zircon, rutile and ilmenite.

Kalbar wants to remove about 200 million tonnes of ore from the site over 20 years, and has been preparing technical studies as part of the approval process.

The studies will form part of the required environmental effects statement expected to be completed by February.