Public Forum: Dr Ian Wright on coal pollution and the Royal National Park
30 October, 2022
3:30 pm AEDT
The Royal National Park is iconic, an extraordinarily beautiful natural area. It also has a coal mine as a neighbour, an American multinational, Peabody Energy. This company is currently mining directly underneath Woronora Reservoir.The mine surface facilities, known as the Metropolitan Colliery, is located at Helensburgh, directly adjacent to a stream that flows into the Royal National Park.
On a number of occasions this year coal waste pollution, black sludge from that mine has been allowed to escape into the Hacking River, which flows for over 10kms through the length and heart of the Royal National Park, alongside the beautiful Lady Carrington Drive, down through to the historic Audley pleasure grounds, then out to Port Hacking itself.
Come along to this public forum to learn more about what happened, and how effective the cleanup has been. Help advocate for Peabody’s Environment Protection Licence to be changed, and consider what needs to be done to ensure this sort of environmentally destructive pollution never happens again.
The Royal National Park was established 150 years ago as a visionary legacy: a green haven and refuge for both animals and the people of Sydney. To have it treated in this manner strikes at the founding principles of this legacy.
Public Forum with Dr Ian Wright – Western Sydney University
Dr Wright is a recognised expert in the field of freshwater ecology, water quality, water policy and the science and management of water pollution. He has previously worked as a scientist in the urban water industry with Sydney Water. The Environmental Defenders Office has engaged him as a specialist consultant, and he has separately provided independent expert testimony on environmental science matters for the NSW Land & Environment Court.
Dr Wright has a long-standing research interest in the impact of coal mining activities on streams and rivers.
More recently he’s investigated Camp Gully Creek, which is directly adjacent to the mine surface facilities, and took water samples there in August this year, before the EPA logged the most recent pollution that escaped from the mine.
The results of this independent testing have now been finalised.