George Archbold of Tamworth believes it is the government’s responsibility to restore mining sites, regardless of their age and when the mining occurred.
Currently the NSW government holds more than $1 billion worth of environmental bonds, to cover the cost of restoration, repair, restocking native fauna or environmental damage caused by mining activities.
This money has been lodged with the state government by various mining companies, to ensure the restoration of any environmental damage that may have been caused during the mining process.
I realise that each political party will make all types of excuses for not ensuring that remediation work is carried out. They should ensure that land that has been violated by any mining company, must be remediated now.
It is not good enough for each party to pass the buck or say it was not their responsibility. That is not true. Each and every political party that has authorised any mining, anywhere in this state has a definite responsibility to make good the many unused mining sites.
No longer is it acceptable for the politicians to pass the buck. They are all collectively responsible.
Yes, each of the parties to say, “that old sites were not covered by the current environmental bond system”. If this is the case it is purely because of the failure of the parties to have legislated to establish a bond system to cover any short fall.
All and any politician who today says that these environmental problems occurred years ago is only partly correct. What they are not admitting is they and their earlier political parties were responsible for the current conditions of all old mining sites, regardless of the age of the problems.
It can be expected that each and every politician will try to duck their responsibility for this condition. Should any member and their parties challenge their responsibility, they can no longer truly show they are dedicated to this state’s future.
The list of old mines covers many areas of this state. The local ones cover many old tin mines, as well as asbestos, gold and precious stone mines throughout the New England, and North West Slopes.
These old sites are scattered throughout the state, many of them are unsafe and require environmental restoration now. Not in 10 years’ time.