Rivers SOS is a network of community groups around NSW that fight to protect waterways from the effects of coal mining. People from SEAN have been working with Rivers SOS for some time. Here’s a report back from Ann-Marie about the latest event she went to (along with Holly):

Dungog Film Festival May 29-31
Film festivals are great fun, but this particular one was full of gloss and PR spiel from the Minerals Council about the greatness of the mining industry. Yuk.

So some SEAN folks headed up to Dungog for the weekend to support the Dungog Fringe Festival, a special project from our friends at the Rivers SOS Alliance, who took the opportunity to screen their films about all the damage mining causes to water systems and local communities around NSW.

The stories we heard over the weekend were really eye-opening, for us and for the locals that dropped by to check out what was going on. At the Rivers SOS meeting we heard updates from the alliance’s member groups, like the new BHP Bulli Seam Proposal – the largest ever coal proposal including around 120 longwall panels approved for 30 years. We also heard about the problems associated with the emerging and largely unregulated coal seam gas industry.

Despite these pretty scary projects, there were a few success stories like the recent rejection of the Bickham coal mine in the upper Hunter, the first coal mine ever to be rejected by this NSW government. We took on supporting Rivers SOS’s great work by offering to help out with website support, a newsletter and some fundraising.

If you’d like to help SEAN support community groups like Rivers SOS, email [sean at asen dot org dot au] to find out more!