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Judy Knowles - 14 April 2015

Judy Knowles made the following comments in the Public Access Session at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 14 April 2015.

My name is Judy Knowles and I live in Majors Creek with my family.

For many people from Majors Ck, Araluen and along the Deua River to Moruya. There is a real sense right now of the wolf at the back of the door.

One that we were perhaps gullible enough to allow a foot inside.

One that has a big flashing dollars sign in his eyes and a pack of hungry shareholders behind him.

He is the modern day prospector.

Nothing will stand in his way.

He will think nothing of putting whole communities at risk of air and water contamination.

He will think nothing of breaking a promise made to an entire community to achieve his goal.

He will think nothing of walking away once he has finished, leaving the whole mess behind him for future generations to deal with later on.

This is because this is not his home.

He has no emotional connection with the land he intends to make money from.

His eyes see only money in the land under his feet and his ears hear only ringing of dollars to be made.

This is the only reason someone would ever consider this idea to build a cyanide processing plant on this site.

Because the desire to make money out weighs all else.

I am aware that the Eurobodalla Shire Council have recently committed to investing a substantial amount of money to ensure this proposal to modify the current development consent gets full scrutiny and I thank you for having the foresight to work together with Palerang Council on this as it has major implications for communities across both shires.

We need to be certain now and for the future, that water quality, quality of life and indeed life itself is not threatened on the water course that links Majors Creek to Moruya.

This is not a site chosen for its' suitability, it was chosen for its' convenience.

It was never intended as a processing site however that is what we are being forced to accept as a community.

We need to stand together, to ensure that Unity Mining goes not through the back door with this proposal for a cyanide processing plant, but through the front door –

As they always should have, passing all the environmental checkpoints on the way that this type of potentially dangerous development deserves.

Not only for the benefit of those here now but those who come after us.

When I was visiting different locations for the Hands off our Creek film project, I tried to imagine how I would feel if like so many people, I depended on the water in that river for survival.

I imagine them living in constant fear.

Fear every time it poured with rain and the creeks and rivers flooded.

Fear of never really knowing if all those supposed experts in engineering and construction got it all right – because they have already shown that they are not beyond error.

Fear of them somehow underestimating mother-nature and her unpredictability.

If this company is allowed to proceed with their processing plant, they will be forcing many of us to live in fear indefinitely.

This community accepted the original proposal for a low impact gold mine. What Unity mining is proposing is something completely different from what was approved. It does not have community support and yet it is being forced upon us.

No amount of assurances by this company is going to convince us that this is a low risk development.

It is in fact the polar opposite and something that must not be allowed to proceed.

Council's Reply

Eurobodalla Shire Council shares your concerns and with the assistance of an expert consultant, we will review the full details of the proposed modification when the environmental assessment is released.

We intend to lodge a submission during the development application’s exhibition period raising any concerns identified during the review.