2 years ago I was the first person to solo kayak one of the greatest river systems in Australia; the Clarence River, from its source in the Great Dividing Range to its mouth, where it empties into the sea at Yamba. Recently I tried to recreate this journey with my dear childhood friend, big wave surfer and Patagonia ambassador Dan Ross, and a film crew, and we couldn’t do it. There’s just no water in the river.
We are a coastal nation on the driest continent on earth. To survive in an ever-changing climate emergency, now more than ever, we must honour, conserve and protect our most precious resource; water.
There are 2 concurrent threats to the Clarence River. This post deals with the most immediately pressing threat – mining.
18 Exploratory Licences are active in the upper catchment area of the Clarence River. The licences are being used to prospect copper, cobalt and other minerals. If these licences proceed to Production Licences, irreparable damage will ensue. Mining ridgelines that angle steeply into freshwater rivers cannot operate in a vacuum. This has already been proven on the Clarence River, when historic copper mining in the early 1900s was responsible for many fish kills, including the near-complete decimation of the Eastern Freshwater Cod. Today, the Eastern Freshwater Cod, which does not exist anywhere else on earth beyond the Clarence and Richmond River catchments, enjoys a healthy and thriving population back from the brink of extinction, thanks to careful conservation efforts.
I am strongly of the heart that the risks to our great river from mining, are too impossibly high to take. If you agree, please download this link and print this petition, and together, let’s get 10,000 signatures so our State MP Chris Gulaptis can take our campaign to state parliament, where we can say no to these practices for good.
[Print the petition at the link below, please post completed petition sheets to :
52 Wharf Street, Maclean NSW 2463 Australia]
images : Gary Parker / Thunderbox Films