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Film premiere Coal Creek: “What does it take to stop a coal mine polluting our waterways?” – Wollongong screening

28 January , 7:00 pm 9:00 pm AEDT

“Coal Creek” documents the tireless work of a large number of concerned citizens to shine a spotlight on the damage being done to the Royal National Park by a neighbouring mine.

Filmed on Dharawal Country in 2022, the story shows repeated pollution events by the neighbouring Metropolitan Coal Mine into Camp Gully Creek, which carries the pollution into the Hacking River, a major artery of the Royal National Park. To add to these concerns UNSW relocated a colony of Platypus into the river.

Citizen scientists led by Sutherland Shire Environment Centre have been advocating for the mine to be held accountable for the damage wrought over the years.

When they were joined by renowned water scientist Dr Ian Wright, and Wild Magazine Editor James McCormack stumbled onto a major pollution event, voices calling for the issue to be addressed grew louder, and the mine is now the subject of a court case.

“Coal Creek” is the latest documentary by Illawarra based impact film maker James O’Connor.

James is the man behind the lens for recent coal mine docs including “Mining in the Blue Mountains” (which has won international awards and massed over 25,000 YouTube views) and “The People Against Russell Vale Mine”. “Coal Creek” will be released in early February 2024 and will have a limited run of premier screenings.

In addition to an introduction from James O’Connor, panel speakers for the screening include –

  • * Dr Ian Wright, a recognised expert in the field of water quality, freshwater ecology, water policy and the science and management of water pollution. The Environmental Defenders Office has previously engaged him as a specialist consultant, and he has separately provided independent expert testimony on environmental science matters for the NSW Land & Environment Court.
  • * Jess Lumbroso, the Streamwatch Coordinator for Greater Sydney Landcare.  The Streamwatch program fosters environmental stewardship across the Greater Sydney Region, providing training, support, and equipment that allows community groups to monitor water quality and to protect their local waterways.
  • * Bob Crombie, former Royal National Park head ranger who first flagged the issue of coal waste in the Royal. Bob has been monitoring water quality in the Royal National Park since the 1970s, and was a key figure in Sutherland Shire Environment Centre’s advocacy for World Heritage listing for the park. Bob took many of the photos that showed the full impact of the coal waste pollution in Camp Gully Creek and down through the Hacking River to Audley.

* Jess Whittaker, a resident of the Illawarra who has a passion for preserving and restoring local waterways. She is a citizen science participant who has worked with the NSW EPA and Dr Wright to investigate pollution in local waterways.

* Kaye Osborn, who has been organising with Protect Our Water Alliance (POWA) since 2019.

*  Cooper Riach, Sutherland Shire Environment Centre board member.  Cooper has been actively monitoring the pollution in the Royal since 2021.  He is currently a member of the Centre’s Camp Gully Creek Streamwatch program.

This screening will be held at the fabulous Servo Food Truck Bar, Port Kembla at 8pm. Come early, catch up with friends, have a drink or bite at the bar, and secure a seat. There’s no reservations on the seating.

0416 831 795

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6-8 Wentworth Street
Port Kembla, NSW 2505 Australia
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0437 369 455
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