Meeting to voice opposition to mining bid

A map showing the 30km squared area that an explorative mining licence application covers.
A map showing the 30km squared area that an explorative mining licence application covers.

A community meeting will be held at the Bermagui Country Club on Wednesday to air concerns about an exploratory gold mining licence application [ELA].

Organiser Greg Lissaman said an online petition already had around 1500 signatures by Tuesday morning, while video of the meeting would be presented to the Department of Regional NSW, Andrew Constance, Matt Keane and others to show community disapproval of the licence bid.

"There will be a number of people from the community speaking on impact to the environment, farming, business tourism, wellbeing and mental health and the cultural heritage impacts," Mr Lissaman said.

Mr Lissaman said there was still an opportunity to provide submissions directly to the department responsible for approving or denying the application and this was the best time to combat the ELA.

"This stage of the process is the easiest stage to do something about - the government can just say 'no'," he said.

"We just have to object - I'm not saying that's guaranteed to work, that's the easiest action we can take at this stage and I think this is the right time."

Mr Lissaman owns a farm in the middle of the proposed zone and said his work as a tourism consultant also guided his objection to the ELA.

"I see massive value in the natural environment - we have amazing tourism aspects and any form of mining can threaten the future of that and related industries.

"This community has shown amazing strength and resilience after the fires and this is a real existential threat to our community and the livelihood of businesses and related businesses in the area."

While some online have said they've beaten mining applications previously, Mr Lissaman said stopping it this stage could save dissenting land owners from timely and potentially costly arbitration talks.

He said while mining companies may not have found value previously, enhancements in mining techniques may make the area a more cost-effective target than previously.

Social distancing restrictions mean seating is limited to 100 at the meeting on Wednesday with tickets via Eventbrite.

However, there is a Don't mine Coolagolite Facebook page that will share a live-stream of the meeting with details to be also published on the Cobargo-Bermagui Noticeboard.

The change.org petition is available here.

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This story Mining bid opposition to voice concerns at Bermagui public meeting first appeared on Bega District News.

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