G’day everyone, Jeremy Buckingham here.
I’m outside the giant Cadia Valley gold mine near Orange in the Central West of NSW.
Behind me the Northern tailings dam of the mine has collapsed.
It’s an absolute environmental disaster. Recently, there’s been significant geological
activity – earthquakes – in and around the gold mine, and the dam wall has collapsed.
This has meant that they are now suppressing the dust in the dam, because it’s very dry,
to stop those toxic tailings blowing over the landscape.
And they’re constructing emergency bunds below the dam wall to stop the tailings,
250 million tonnes of them, flowing into the Belubula River and onto the Lachlan River.
This is an environmental disaster brought about by corporate greed and stupid governments.
They’ve rushed in, approved this gold mine, and dodgy practices when it comes to the dam
wall construction, and this is the legacy. Who’s going to manage this dam wall into the
future? Who’s going to stop that toxic legacy flowing
into the Lachlan River? Well it’s the taxpayers of NSW who will pay,
and it’s the environment that will pay. I’ve been raising my concerns about operations
here at Cadia for more than 20 years. I’ve been a councillor out here and I’ve always
been concerned at how they did business. Well this is the cost of corporate greed,
this is the cost of stupid governments, an environmental catastrophe that we will have
to deal with for generations.