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East Gippsland food bowl at risk from mining

Screen_Shot_2020-10-12_at_10.31.18_am.pngKalbar Operations Pty Ltd, a company with no experience operating a mine, is proposing a massive open-cut mineral sands mine at the Fingerboards, 20km north west of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.

This proposal will come with a large environmental cost, huge impact on local farmland and the local economy, and is strongly opposed by the majority of locals.

The state government has opened up the opportunity to express your opposition to the mine. You can send a submission in response to the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the project. Submissions must be lodged by 5pm on 29 October 2020.  

Please help by lodging a submission, to record your opposition to this mine proposal.  The number of submissions received is vitally important so the Victorian Government can see the level of community concern about it.  

How to write a submission

Submissions may address any matter ‘the submitter considers relevant, including whether the Proposal is supported or objected or any recommended changes’.

When making your submission you can nominate to be heard at the Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) public hearing. If you make a submission, you will be notified about the timing and location of the Hearing after the exhibition period has closed.

Once you have typed up your submission, check the form here to send your submission (there are a number of fields to fill out - namer, address, etc, then you can either attach your submission as a word document or cut and paste it into the relevant field in the submission form).


Background information from Mine Free Glenaladale, which will help in writing a submission, is at this link.


Your submission could include some of the points below. A simple letter is fine – just express the reasons why you oppose the mine.

And please check our summary of why Friends of the Earth opposes this proposal.

Your submission - please write a brief letter - the text may help, the more you put it in your words, the better:


Dear Inquiry and Advisory Committee members, 


1/ Begin your first paragraph saying you are writing this submission about the EES for the Fingerboards mineral sands mine project and tell them you strongly oppose the mine, briefly summarising why or say, for the reasons outlined below.

2/ Explain briefly who you are, where you live, etc.

3/ Then add details on what you oppose it:

Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd, a new company with no experience operating a mine is proposing a massive open-cut mineral sands mine at the Fingerboards, 20km NW of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.

  • 13 square kms on a plateau which is above the Mitchell River and the vegetable fields of the Mitchell River Valley is to be mined up to 45m deep (see photo).
  • Kalbar’s geochemistry report lists a number of radioactive and cancer-causing substances that will be present in the dust generated.
  • The $155M/year Mitchell River Valley vegetable industry that employs up to 2,000 people is as close as 500m downwind from the mine.
  • The Mitchell River, the source of water to irrigate those vegetables and make ice to transport them is 350m downwind (between the mine and the vegetable fields).
  • Kalbar needs over 3 billion litres of water annually for processing and dust suppression for 15 years.  This shows how much water is needed to control the dust which will potentially pose major human and animal health risks.
  • Kalbar’s high need for water could lead to earlier and tighter restrictions on users reliant on water from the Mitchell River (such as the horticulture industry) and is likely to impact the health of the Gippsland Lakes from reduced fresh water.
  • There are concerns that jobs in tourism and agriculture are at risk from potential contamination of the river and crops.

Could other jobs be created instead?  Based on irrigation data, if the 3 billion litres of water Kalbar requires annually was redirected to growing vegetables, 3 times more jobs could be created than Kalbar’s proposal.  These would be long-term sustainable jobs to grow food.  According to National Farmers Federation statistics, every job created in agriculture leads to 4.2 indirect jobs.  From Kalbar’s website, 1 mining job leads to 1 indirect job.

This proposed mine is considered to be in a highly inappropriate and dangerous location, threatening our food, water, health and already reduced river flows.  


Screen_Shot_2020-10-12_at_10.49.37_am.pngPlease inform yourselves and speak out now, because the risks are too great.

For more information contact Mine-Free Glenaladale

(email: [email protected])


Mine-Free Glenaladale also have a crowd fund campaign. Please support them if you can.



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