Kalbar Resources, a company that has no mining experience, has proposed a mineral sands and rare earths mine at Glenaladale, near Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.
The Fingerboards mine has not yet been approved by the Victorian Government, but after several years of investigation, Kalbar believes the site is suitable for an open cut mine to extract minerals including zircon, rutile and ilmenite — a titanium mineral, and rare earths.
On Wednesday 19th June, concerned East Gippsland residents will be travelling to Melbourne for a peaceful protest on the steps of Parliament. With the Lindenow Valley vegetable growing area only 500m downwind from a proposed mineral sands mine in Glenaladale (near Bairnsdale), organisers of the event say the time has come to accelerate the level of awareness about this mine. They will be calling on Richard Wynne, the Minister for Planning, to rule out the final approvals for the mine.
"We want the rest of Victoria and Australia to know that the area where their veggies are grown is under threat from this mine. It is time to raise the profile in Melbourne about these concerns so we are holding a demonstration on the steps of Parliament” said Ms Sharon Clerke from Mine-free Glenaladale, the community organisation sponsoring this event.
“We will be handing out vegetables grown in the Lindenow Valley to bring people’s attention to the fact that if this mine proceeds it is highly likely their veggies will be contaminated from radioactive and highly toxic substances, as well as putting at risk up to 1,500 jobs."
"If the more than 4GL of water that will be needed by the mine for processing and dust suppression was redirected to growing vegetables, five times more jobs would be created than the 197 jobs the mine proposes to create,” Ms Clerke said.
A petition with over 4,600 signatures against the mine and its proponent, Kalbar Resources, is being lodged by The Greens in Parliament earlier that morning.
An organiser for the event Ms Debbie Carruthers said, “This large number of signatures shows there is no social licence for this mine to proceed. This is in addition to a further 3,000 online signatures on Change.org petitions. In addition, 82% of the directly impacted landholders said, in response to a survey question, that they want their land mineral sands mining free."
"This area is a major food bowl for Victoria so people need to let Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning (who will make the decision about whether the mine proceeds), know their concerns and ask him to stop this mine,” Ms Carruthers said.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM.
Steps of Parliament Victoria (corner of Bourke & Spring Streets).
This is a static event so no marching is involved. Wear some orange, bring signs or make a sign about protecting our food and agriculture.
A facebook page for the event is available here.