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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Waratah Rivulet meeting - 17 June

This blog entry is a blatant advertisement - published by me for the Rivers SOS group, the Total Environment Centre, and the Save Water Alliance. Persons from the local Southern Highlands area wishing to join in, pls email me (from the side bar - see my "profile") and we can arrange car pooling.

Cracked bed of the
Waratah Rivulet.

Protect our Water

Save our catchments from coal mining

DAY OF ACTION - 11am, June 17th, Helensburgh

The Waratah Rivulet, in the Sutherland Shire south of Sydney, makes up about 30% of the Woronora Dam catchment. The Rivulet is dry not because of the drought, but because of the impacts of underground longwall coal mining 500m below the surface.

This damage is occurring across Sydney's southern drinking catchments. The mining companies will tell you that the water is coming back downstream but the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA), who manage these areas, say they do not know exactly how much water is being lost and internal documents state that the long-term future of the water supply has been compromised.

The NSW Government and the mining industry are allowing royalty money and profits to compromise the future reliability of our water resources. Rivers in the southern coalfields and Hunter Valley are being cracked, drained and polluted. Rare swamps on the Newnes Plateau in the western coalfield that ultimately feed the Warragamba Dam are being undermined and are slowly drying up. New mining proposals threaten drinking catchments on the Central Coast and the vital aquifers of the Liverpool Plain near Gunnedah. Indigenous heritage and sites are being damaged or destroyed by cracking and cliff collapses.

The coal industry is not only taking us down the path to dangerous climate change. It is destroying our most precious resources.


The Rally and walk-in of Action will take place outside a Sydney Catchment Authority gate on the Old Princes Highway just south of Helensburgh. There will be speakers, music, workshops on coal mining in the Illawarra and southern catchments, and other entertainment. Further action will be discussed at the location and there will be the opportunity to meet in Helensburgh for a debrief following the events of the day.

People are asked to wear something red.


The Day of Action will commence at 11am sharp. The location will be marked with red ribbons and signs.

FROM SYDNEY (1 hour from CBD):

Travel south down the F6 Freeway. Take Helensburgh exit about 4km south of Waterfall. Turn right at the roundabout and drive 3km. Site on left.


Travel north up the F6 Freeway. If coming from Campbelltown, take the Appin Road and turn left onto the F6 Freeway towards Sydney. Take Helensburgh exit and turn left at the bottom of the off ramp. Drive about 2.5km. Site is on left.


take the Old Princes Highway from the top of Bulli Pass. Site is on the right about 3km north of Darkes Forest Road

BY TRAIN (1 hour from Central):

Train leaves Central at 9.28 and arrives at Helensburgh at 10.21. From there vehicles will ferry people to the rally. Please let us know if you are intending to travel by train so we can organise the right amount of vehicles. In the event of the train being delayed call 0409 447913 or 0418 278753. Please let us know if you need to be dropped off for the return trip. There is no trackwork planned for that weekend.


If driving, a full car. Tell your friends that this is important and bring them along. If you don't have many friends and spare seats, be sure to let us know. We may be able to help you fill them!

Drinking water. We are currently working on having some food available onsite. Helensburgh town centre is only 5km away but it's always better to make your own lunch. A toilet will be provided.

Good shoes and a hat. June is winter but climate change is upon us.

Your ideas. Banners and musical instruments welcome.

Respect for the catchment. The Sydney Catchment Authority administers the southern water supply catchments. These are known as Special Areas. No individual is permitted to set foot in a Special Area. Other things banned include vehicles, horses, pets and littering. However, the wrecking and draining of rivers and destruction of aquatic ecosystems by coal mining companies is permitted if you have the necessary approvals from Ian MacDonald (NSW Primary Industry Minister) and Frank Sartor (Planning Minister).

Fines apply for trespassing in a Special Area. The rally will be held outside the gates.


If you are coming please email or call 9261 3437, 0409 447913 or 0418 278753

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