Drawing the Line
written for the Byron Echo, 1 February 2006

The devaluing dollars of the war stressed US Empire has made gold prices bullish and the business pages abound with speculation about new gold mines.

If you care for the Earth, the news of rising gold prices is a cause for grief. Weep for the future generations of yabbies, frogs, fishes, wading birds, ducks, marsupials and humans too, who will be poisoned by water made permanently toxic by cyanide gold mining.

Higher gold prices mean lower grade ores become profitable and this in turn means bigger pits, more mega litres of diesel consumed and more tonnes of green house gases released digging and crushing mega tonnes of rock, more kilo tonnes of industrial chemicals carted about the land and more mega litres of poison left behind in tailings dams to leak back into ground water, a toxic legacy forever.

Somehow, somewhere and sometime soon, the line has got to be drawn and cyanide gold mining banned forever.

Peacebus intends that line be drawn at Lake Cowal.

With the support of Friends of the Earth Australia, Peacebus is initiating a new campaign called Cyanide Watch and it will be an ongoing campaign of road witness and direct action in towns along the route, through which the cyanide tankers will pass to supply the Lake Cowal goldmine.

Ignoring all objections of the Wiradjuri Native Title holders and major environmental organisations, the corporate courtier NSW government has given Toronto based Barrick Gold all approvals and the Lake Cowal goldmine is due to start operations next month..

Over 13 years the mine will consume 100,000 tonnes of sodium cyanide which is expected to be carted to Lake Cowal from the Orica manufacturing plant in Gladstone, Queensland, 1600 km. away.

Everyone standing up alive! Stop the Cyanide! Indict the cyanide criminals!

Friends, give us your blessings and give us your prayers.

You can follow the campaign at www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch. Maybe there will be some reports from the road published in future Echoes.

If you have the commitment and the time, Lake Cowal at Easter will be an Earth affirming place to be. A major Corroboree/Convergence hosted by Uncle "Chappie" Williams and Friends of the Earth Australia will take place outside the mine gates.

We grey haired nomads will be there doing best we can.

For the Earth!

Graeme Dunstan
1 Feb 2006


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