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  Garrett Encourages Anti-Mine Stance  


From left: State Member for Wyong David Harris, Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett, Federal Member for Dobell Craig Thomson and Australian Coal Alliance Campaign Director Alan Hayes


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AUSTRALIAN Coal Alliance campaign director Alan Hayes and scientific officer Ron Sokolowski, along with State Member for Wyong David Harris and Member for Dobell Craig Thomson, met with Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett on Wednesday, 27th May. They were accompanied by representatives from the business sector and Wyong and Gosford Council. They were Mary Doherty, NSW Business Chamber, Kerry Ruffles, Business Central Coast, John Asquith, Central Environment Network, Cr Terri Latella, Gosford City Council, Cr Sue Wynn and environment officer Greg White from Wyong Shire Council.

Member for Dobell Craig Thomson said that the meeting with Environment Minister Peter Garrett was very positive.

“The Minister immediately understood the argument presented by the group against the planned coal mine,” Craig Thomson said.

Australian Coal Alliance Campaign Director Alan Hayes said the planned mine would pose a significant threat to the water catchment area in the valleys of Wyong Shire, which supplies more than half of the whole region’s water supply.

“The Minister was also concerned about the endangered migratory avian waders whose habitat would be threatened by the Kores proposal,” Alan Hayes said.

Wyong Council’s Environ-mental Planning officer Greg White said the risk of mine subsidence in the valleys is high. He said this could severely affect groundwater supplies which run into the rivers and streams, and in fact cause the water to dry up.

The message about putting pressure on the state government - that a wide cross-section of the Central Coast community does not want this mine to go ahead - was conveyed very strongly by State Member for Wyong David Harris and Craig Thomson.

“I made a commitment to the people of the Central Coast before the last election that I would do everything in my power to stop the coal mine”, said Craig Thomson.

“I arranged this meeting to help secure the region’s future.”