Water Agency decision on Wombat Forest Mine
Wombat Forestcare welcomes the decision by Melbourne Water to require tlicence holder to apply for a works licence or permit before commencing wothe proposed South Bullarto Mine.
In a letter received by Wombat Forestcare, Melbourne Water states that a waterway determination was carried out by Southern Rural Water and verified by Melbourne Water. Both agencies have agreed that there is one small reach waterway within the site.
Melbourne Water has stated that "Under normal S67 application processes common practice to require the proponent to advertise their proposal and insubmissions from parties with an interest in, or potentially affected by, the proposal" and that it is their intention to make this a requirement. They wilrequest that advertising occurs in a local paper as suggested by Wombat Forestcare's solicitors, the Environment Defenders Office.
Gayle Osborne from Wombat Forestcare says "that this is an important stepthe hydrological issues will now be taken into account and the miner will hademonstrate to the Minister that they should be granted a licence, includingthe works will not adversely impact on the waterway or its surrounds.
This determination contradicts information received by a resident from the of the Minister for Energy and Resources in October 2012 stating that "Regathe waterway you have identified within the site, this site is not listed as a designated watercourse or defined as a waterway under the Water Act 1989The Work Plan was approved without a plan which shows the general drainapattern of the area as required by Mineral Resources Development Regulati2002 and it appears that due diligence has not been applied to the approvathe Work Plan.
The incorrect placement of the mine site on the Department of Primary IndGeoVic web map application is also of grave concern as it is unclear whetheoriginal waterway assessments for the proposed mine were undertaken on correct area.
Gayle Osborne says "that it is also important not to overlook four other minleases in and around the Wombat Forest with Work Plans approved by the Department of Primary Industries. A number of other Work Plans are in the submission stage."
"Wombat Forestcare believes that the laws relating to mining are inadequatprotect biodiversity and community assets and that these mines could commin the near future without any real community consultation. DPI and the StLiberal government are overseeing a new gold rush for the region but failinconsult or explore the environmental impacts of all these mines. Most of the proposed mines require major vegetation removal, loss of habitat and are lto result in substantial degradation of waterways" stated Gayle Osborne froWombat Forestcare.
This highlights the need to better protect the Wombat State Forest by re-classifying the forest as a State Park.