We first became aware of this issue via a mpeg radio broadcast on www.SydneyIndyMedia.org.au [to be advised soon]
March 20 2008 Assault on Washpool with John and Binna mp3
[our comment at the time follows]
Well done Kaput radio, very important story.
Timbarra country is indeed spectacular perched wetland, almost like misty rainforests of PNG with rocky outcrops. So if its like that it's great, and I recall seeing some top images of the place too: Lifted this of NRMA website
I recognise Johnny Chai's voice in the interview with all that experience over the successful struggle to protect Timbarra, which I donated to about 8 years back.
Very revealing of the cyanide mining agenda. Price of gold has skyrocketed lately too.
Washpool is one of the areas protected at least in part in the 1990ies under the Wilderness Act 1987 (NSW).
Here's a bit of the conservation history here to 1999, which is then superceded by the NSW Govt forest decision for the Upper North East RFA/CRA govt strategy. So whether these miners are exploring in conservation tenure or otherwise is a mystery to me.
One thing I do recall is that the Dept of Mineral Resources tend to drive a truck through most conservation legislation except for national park itself.
So it could be unprotected legally identified but unprotected wilderness intended for protection under the 1987 Act process mentioned above.
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon - Media Release - 17 April 2008
Asbestos dust in Bayulgil area: Greens force investigation
NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon today welcomed a commitment from the NSW Minister for the Environment to seek urgent advice from NSW Health as to whether to investigate possible health risks from asbestos dust rising from roads in the Baryulgil area, following the Greens questions about the use of tailings from the James Hardie Asbestos mine in Baryulgil to build roads in the area.
"The Minister for the Environment Ms Verity Firth says she will also ask Clarence Valley Council whether it's monitoring roads for potential asbestos contamination, 'and take appropriate action once the detailed advice has been obtained','" Greens roads spokesperson Ms Rhiannon said.
This commitment comes in response to questions from Lee Rhiannon to the Environment Minister: http://188.8.131.52/isysquery/ee685c6e-8ac0-41bc-bda8-d6f4b0df9cef/1/doc/
"The Greens share the concerns of locals about the plumes of dust that cover vehicles, residents and animals created by the consistent traffic from logging trucks and tourists visiting the Washpool World Heritage Park.
"It is high time the NSW government stopped ignoring concerns about this potential risk.
"Asbestos is a silent killer. On this issue there is no room for the complacency that for so long resulted in the refusal of governments and James Hardie to acknowledge the real dangers of asbestos.
"I trust that Ms Firth will ensure NSW Health and the local council treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves.
"The three decades during which the Baryulgil mine operated left lasting scars on the health of workers and residents, many of whom were Aboriginal. Many have since died or been seriously affected by asbestos related illnesses.
"It is very important that the NSW government and local councils actively manage the toxic remnants of the Baryulgil mine," Ms Rhiannon said.
For more information: 9230 3551, 0427 861 568