Concerns over mineral sands mine

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

FARMERS and other local rural businesses and residents in an extensive area from Lindenow and Walpa to Stockdale, Munro and Briagolong face the prospect of mining activity in the Glenaladale area.

An open cut mineral sands mine — commencing at the iconic Fingerboards area of Glenaladale — is being proposed by a small company called Kalbar Resources.

There is a current retention licence area of more than 6000 hectares under application in addition to other recently advertised exploration-retention licences.

People are expressing their concerns about maintaining the integrity of our local water supply, food supply, environment and the economy by displaying orange signs on their properties stating ‘no open-cut mine here’.

These signs are one of the few means rural residents have of highlighting both the issue and the extent of local objection.

At every level of government, the current political environment unrealistically and absurdly favours mining over profitable established farms within zoned agricultural areas, farm-associated industries and other rural businesses.

This is distressing on many levels. it fails to comprehend the enormous level of turnover from existing profitable farming enterprises (vegetable, beef cattle, dairy, wool and lamb, hay, grains, contracting) genuinely ploughed back into the local economy.

The so-called flow-on benefits from a short-lived mine pale into insignificance when compared with the local flow-on effects of our current viable, vibrant and long-term rural enterprises.

These create and maintain jobs in the immediate local areas, surrounding communities and local towns.

Some of the many and varied associated economic beneficiaries from local farming and other rural activities include the food (vegetables, meat and dairy), livestock, wool, transport, irrigation, fencing and construction industries as well as the sale yards, veterinary practices, farm supply retail outlets.

in addition to this, there is the support of our local shops, medical practices, builders, fabrication works and so on.

Of great concern is the subsidisation of offshore industries and jobs to the detriment of our local people.

There is a place for mining, but not in a location where it could have the potential to affect existing viable, long-term rural industries.