The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) have come out in strong support of Environment Groups challenging the controversial extension of the Springvale coal mine.

Environment Groups led by 4nature are taking legal action to get the decision overturned due to its potentially devastating impact on Sydney’s drinking water.

4Nature president, Andrew Cox, said: “Each day the mine is set to discharge up to 19 million litres of water laden with nutrients, salt, metals and other contaminants into the Coxs River before it flows into Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s main drinking water supply.”

NPA’s Science Officer, Dr Oisín Sweeney, said: “Some of the largest cities in the world rely on protected forest catchments for clean water supplies. This includes Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Mumbai and Tokyo amongst scores of others.”

“It’s crazy to jeopardise such a basic fundamental human requirement as clean water for a quick buck. This is particularly true in the case of coal: why risk clean water for an asset that the world is trying to phase out?”

“Of course, on top of the drinking water issue, there are the potential impacts on upland swamps which are ecosystems of national significance.”

“Far from continuing to approve mines in Sydney’s catchment the NSW government should be doing all it can to bring all mining in the catchment to a close, full stop. The government should help those communities, such as Lithgow, that are currently dependent on mining to develop and focus on other industries.”

“Let’s use the impetus from Paris to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy that doesn’t carry the risk of ruining the water supply of millions of people.”

“The government doesn’t factor the benefits from nature into economic assessments when considering developments such as coal mines. We have seen the astronomical cost of water purification in other Australian cities. At the moment, nature provides high quality water to Sydney at a low cost. Let’s keep it that way.”

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