Peacebus.com banners at the gates of Orica's cyanide manufacturing plant (biggest in Australia, third biggest in the world) at the Yawun Cyanide Watch Blockade, 26 June 2007.

The winged words of
Cyanide Watch media 2006

 

Media Release 5 April 2008
Zapatista Resistance meets
Cyanide Watch

Stories of the Chiapas, the people of southern most and poorest state of Mexico, and their resistance to globalisation will be told in conjunction with stories of local resistance to the transport of bulk cyanide through the Blue Mountains for the gold mining industry

@ The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba
from 6.30 pm to late Friday 11 April 2008

The first part of the evening will be an introduction and presentation of short videos by Alexandra Halkin, International Coordinator of the Chiapas Media Project/Promedios, Katoomba just one stop on this, the tenth anniversary tour.

The Zapatista autonomous communities are the most documented indigenous movement in the history of the world, with hundreds of videos, films, books and websites created by people looking in from the outside.  

The Chiapas Media Project/Promedios has helped to put the video and computer technology in the hands of the Zapatista communities and Ms Halkin is carrying their message, a view from the inside, to the world.

Later a group of concerned citizens will go to the rail line and bear witness there by counting the cyanide containers and challenging the freight drivers to stop and tell the truth about their toxic cargo.

"The amount and frequency of the cyanide transports is a secret between the NSW Government, Orica, the cyanide maker, and Pacific National, the freight carrier," said Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com captain and organiser of Cyanide Watch.

"The cyanide freights supply most of the gold mines in the west, maybe 60,000 tonnes a year, and more and more each year, passing through the Blue Mountains, source of most of Sydney's water supply.

"Combined with the maintenance run down of the privatised track, a bulk cyanide spill is an accident waiting to happen." he said.

The evening will be hosted by Blue Mountains Friends of the Earth. $10 donation plus $5 student/pensioner. Chiapas Media Project/Promedios DVDs for sale.

Further information
Natalie Lowery, Blue Mountains Friends of the Earth, 0421 226 200
Alexandra Halkin, Chiapas Media Project/Promedios, 02 8332 2999
Graeme Dunstan, Cyanide Watch, 0407 951 688

Media Release 18 March 2008
The Cyanide Gift -
Stawell Gold Mines at the Crossroads
Cyanide Watch will be hosting a meeting of citizens concerned about the environmental costs of Stawell Gold Mines operation

11.30 - 1.30 pm Wednesday 19 March 2008
Observation area, Stawell Gold Mines, Reef Road, Stawell.

Stawell Gold Mines Manager, Troy Cole, said he respected the rights of citizens to express their concerns and would be available to answer questions.

"Imagine 700 Olympic swimming pools, 50m long by 20m wide and 1m deep, lined up side by side in the dry bed of Lake Lonsdale. That's a picture of the amount of Grampians water that Stawell Gold Mine is presently using," said Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan.

More difficult to imagine is 98,000 tonnes of CO2, but that's the amount the Mine causes to be released into the atmosphere each year by way of diesel burned and grid power used in excavating and milling rock.

Seven hundred tonnes of deadly sodium cyanide is also used by the Mine, a lethal transport and environmental hazard on the road between Melbourne and the Mine.

These figures were released by the General Manager of Stawell Gold Mines, Troy Cole, in a meeting yesterday with Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan.

Mr Cole made it clear that the Stawell Gold Mine is at a cross road and he said he spent as much time attending meetings about closing the mine as he did planning its expansion.

Expanding the mine meant digging deeper into hot rock and a big capital investment in cooling systems. Test drilling had revealed plentiful low grade ores at about 4 to 6 grams per tonne. 

The rising cost of gold would make this an economically viable operation but the environmental costs, of which Mr Cole was acutely aware, would continue to be enormous and increasingly so.

"The question is whether the Stawell Gold Mine management and the Stawell community in general is ready to bite the climate change bullet and act responsibly with the consequences for future generations in mind," said Mr Dunstan.

Cyanide Watch is a campaign to ban cyanide gold mining as too hazardous to transport in bulk and too environmentally damaging in use.

Further information
Graeme Dunstan, Cyanide Watch, 0427 582 993
Troy Cole, General Manager, Stawell Gold Mines 0427 582 993

Media Release Monday 17 March 2008
Stawell Gold Mines accused of
CO2 and Cyanide Crimes

Citizens concerned about the profligate poisoning of Wimmera water and air by Stawell Gold Mines will be speaking out at:

11.30 - 12.30 pm Wednesday 19 March 2008
outside the gates of Stawell Gold Mines, Reef Road, Stawell.

"The Stawell Gold Mine is dying " said Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan. "The sooner the mine is shut down, the healthier Stawell will be as a place to live for future generations,"

"Letting it linger longer in the name of jobs is false prosperity of the most toxic kind."

Dunstan said that the new owners, Northgate Minerals Corporation, were a Canadian owned venture capital outfit with stiff opposition to its mining ventures in Canada and described Northgate as "a corporate jackal come to Stawell to pick bones by cost cutting and scavenging low grade ores."

In a time of regional concern about climate change and drought, Dunstan said it is obscene to allow this foreign owned corporate criminal to go on poisoning local water on such a huge scale and emitting CO2.

Mr Dunstan said he didn't know the exact figures on the Mine's air and water pollution and that, as a matter public interest and public good, the protesters were wanting disclosure from the Mine and its supporting government agencies .

"But one can see that the water poisoning is to be measured in the millions of litres by viewing the mine's bloated tailings dams from Big Hill," he said.

Typically, a modern Australian gold mine extracts 1 kilogram of gold at the cost of 240 kg of cyanide consumed, 250,000 litres of water poisoned, 3,100 tonnes of solid wastes and 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Mr Dunstan said the questions to be asked of the Northgate Minerals Corporation by the protest are:

• How much (daily average) diesel is being used?

• How much CO2 is being released?

• How much sodium cyanide is being used?

• How much water is being used?

• Where is the water coming from?

• What are the plans for the management of the toxic tailings dams over the next 5, 50 and 500 years?

For Information
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
Stawell community comment: Jane Marriott, member Future of Stawell Gold Mine Committee 0402 811 659
Dr Gavin Mudd, Monash University 0419 117 494 author Sustainability of Mining in Australia, a Research Report

Media Release 28 February 2008
Orica accused of Cyanide
and CO2 Crimes

Citizens concerned about the toxic practices of Orica Limited, the giant Australian owned chemical maker, will be accusing its management and shareholders of cyanide and CO2 crimes at a public Speak Out

12.30 - 1.30 pm Friday 29 February 2008
outside the Orica headquarters
cnr Nicholson and Albert Streets Melbourne

"The Mudd Report shows that Australian gold mines are currently producing about 250 tonnes of gold a year by working low grade ores of the order of 2 parts of gold in a million parts of crushed rock ," said Graeme Dunstan of Cyanide Watch.

"But the environmental cost is huge and horrific," he said.

"To win gold from low grade ores means digging huge pits, crushing millions of tonnes of rock, burning up millions of litres of diesel and permanently poisoning millions of litres of water."

"Typically the extraction of just 1 kilogram of gold poisons 250,000 litres of water, releases 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide and produces 3,100 tonnes of solid waste," he said.

"It is the cyanide leach extraction process which makes these low grade ores viable and Orica is the major supplier of the sodium cyanide for the gold mines of Australia and the South Pacific," said Graeme Dunstan of Cyanide Watch.

"We accuse Orica of cyanide and CO2 crimes against the Earth and the future generations who will live on it," said Mr Dunstan.

An estimated 100,000 tonnes per year of cyanide is manufactured at Orica's Yarwun plant near Gladstone and shipped secretly by rail and road through towns and river catchments of the east coast and elsewhere and by ship through the Barrier Reef to the far flung gold mines.

"Cyanide is deadly and it's transport inherently hazardous. Spills are common," he said.

It was Orica cyanide that spilled near Tennant Creek, NT, in February 2007 and closed the Stuart Highway for 5 days. it was Orica cyanide that spilled at the major derailment at Condobolin in 1992, a spill which had the town on red alert for evacuation for 10 days.

"But whether or not the cyanide falls off the trucks and trains in transport, it is bound to poison water and air on a huge scale when it is used to extract gold," said Dunstan.

"For example at the Barrick Gold mine at Lake Cowal in central NSW, Orica cyanide permanently poisons 17 million litres of water a day, water which is drawn from artesian reserves and the Lachlan River a Murray Darling basin river.

"And this in a time of drought!"

"So much poisoned for the profit of so few," he said.

"Clean air and clean water are more precious than gold."

Cyanide Watch is a campaign to raise awareness of hazard created by the transport of bulk cyanide and and the staggering environmental costs of its use in gold ming.

For Information
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
Dr Gavin Mudd, Monash University 0419 117 494

Media Alert 24 July 2007

Cyanide Watch challenging NSW Government secrecy on cyanide transport

In an effort to get the truth about bulk cyanide transports, Cyanide Watch campaigners will be stopping freight trains this Thursday evening in Casino.

"At this time our attempts to get the facts about the bulk transport of cyanide through the waterways of NSW are being ignored or fobbed off," said Cyanide Watch organiser Graeme Dunstan.

"Tens of thousands of tonnes of Orica cyanide, more and more each year, is known to be passing through the water ways of NSW each year to supply the far flung gold mines of NSW, SA, NT and WA," said Dunstan.

"Increasing tonnage meets decaying rail infrastructure: a major spill is inevitable," he says.

"We intend to keep on blockading the cyanide freights until the NSW Government comes clean," he said.

On the 9 May Ms Rhiannon MLC (NW Greens) put the following questions on notice to the NSW Minister for Planning:

1. How much sodium cyanide has the Minister or the Department of Planning approved for transport annually in New South Wales?

2. In what quantity and with what frequency does this sodium cyanide pass by:
1. rail from Brisbane to Sydney?
2. road from Chullora to Parramatta?
3. rail from Parramatta through the Blue Mountains?

3. 1. Has any planning andŕor training for an emergency response in case of any cyanide spill been undertaken?
2. If not, why not?

On 19 June she was given the following answers:

1. I am advised that the Department of Planning has no role in the approval of Dangerous goods transportation. Transportation requirements for all dangerous goods including sodium cyanide on the National road and rail network are governed by the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. In NSW the transport related requirements of the Code are implemented by Department of Environment and Climate Change.

2. Refer to 1. above.

3. Yes.

More information
Graeme Dunstan Cyanide Watch 0407 951 688
Natalie Lowrey, Friends of the Earth 0421 356 067

MEDIA ALERT 19 July 2007

Cyanide Watch meets
Friends of the Richmond River

from 6 pm Thursday 26 July 2007
by the rail line in or near Casino, NSW

Citizens concerned about the present and future water quality of the Richmond River will be meeting by the rail line at Casino on Thursday night 26 July to combine information sharing with citizen direct action.

The direct action will be to stop the Pacific National freight trains carrying Orica cyanide from passing that night.

The information sharing will be led by Joe aFriend, founder and co-ordinaror of the Friends of the Richmond River.

Joe will be alerting people to a range of toxins which are entering the river each season from the use pesticides and other registered chemicals by the macadamia growers and from the increasing run-off from spreading exotic poisonous weeds.

"With increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, warmer conditions and drought, toxic weeds grow faster and produce more toxins per kilo of plant," reports Joe.

"For example camphor leaves sampled in Lismore in the drought of 2002 were measured as having 93% by weight camphor oil in their leaves, an internationally unprecedented level."

The Casino Cyanide Watch information exchange will take the form of a night long lantern-lit vigil by the rail line hosted by Cyanide Watch, the campaign to protect local waterways from cyanide spills.

"Joe Friend and I are in the same business of alerting river carers and environmental activists to very real but concealed toxic threats," said Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan.

The message of Cyanide Watch is that tens of thousands of tonnes of secret cyanide, more and more each year, on decaying rail infrastructure means a major spill is inevitable," said Dunstan.

"Our common ground is the knowledge that water is life and water quality is the key to the well being of present and future generations," he said.

"Local water quality is a prime responsibility of local citizenship. Only local people acting locally and together will protect our rivers from the poisons of corporate criminals and the negligence and corruption of central governments."

from 6 pm Thursday 26 July 2007
on the rail line in or near Casino
exact place to be notified

"Bring lanterns, bring food and beverage to share," said Dunstan.

More information
Joe Friend, Friends of the Richmond River 0427 022 069
Graeme Dunstan, Cyanide Watch 0407 951 688
Natalie Lowrey, Friends of the Earth, 0472 684 440

MEDIA ALERT 21 June 2007

Concerned Citizens to Blockade Orica Cyanide Plant at Yarwun, Gladstone

from 11 am Tuesday 26 June 2007
gates of the Orica, Yarwun
off Mt Larcom Road 7 km north of Gladstone

Citizens concerned about the huge scale water poisoning resulting from the use of Orica cyanide by the gold mining industry will be blockading the cyanide manufacturing plant at Yarwun, near Gladstone.

Orica, notorious as a maker of poison and pollution is also Australia's number one cyanide criminal," said Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan.

Cyanide is a deadly poison used to leach gold. Orica's Yarwun plant is the biggest maker of cyanide in the southern hemisphere, third biggest in the world.

Orica is secretive about how much cyanide it is making but we know that tens of thousands of tonnes of Orica is being shipped south by rail through all east coast towns and waterways between Gladstone and Sydney then west to the gold mines in western NSW, SA, Nt and WA.

The rest of it is shipped by sea through the Barrier Reef to supply the gold mines in Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, the Solomon islands, Laos and the South Pacific.

"Despite denials and cover ups, spills of cyanide due to transport accidents are common," said Dunstan.

There have been two spills of Orica cyanide this year alone. Cyanide spilled when a three bogey road train overturned north of Tennant Creek (NT) in February and cyanide spilled when a freight train derailed at Eurabalong West (near Condobolin NSW) in January.

"But whether or not it spills in transport, the cyanide is bound to poison water permanently and on huge scale," he said.

A typical modern gold mine such as the one at Lake Cowal in central NSW is owned by a foreign corporation, has an operating life of about 15 years and consumes and permanently poisons about 15 megalitres of water per day, the equivalent in volume to the domestic use of Gladstone over the same period.

The poisoned water is left behind in huge artifical lakes called tailings dams, a toxic legacy for ever.

Cyanide Watch is calling for a ban of cyanide leach gold mining and an end to the bulk transport of cyanide as "too, too toxic".

"It is a criminal act to be poisoning water on such a scale," he says. "A crime against the Earth and rights of future generations to clean water."

More information
Graeme Dunstan, Cyanide Watch 0407 951 688
Natalie Lowrey, Friends of the Earth, 0421 356 067

Media Alert 23 May 2007

Rail Infrastructure rundown. A cyanide spill cometh!

"So rusted is the rail bridge over the Bellinger River at Repton that if it was a car, it would never pass rego!" reports Cyanide Watch campaigner, Graeme Dunstan.



Rust on the rail bridge over the Bellinger River at Repton, NSW. Thousands of tonnes a year of secret cyanide cross this bridge each year. Rust never sleeps. Photos Pip Wilson 22 May 2007

Yet this bridge is carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of secret cyanide, more and more each year, to supply the toxic needs of the far flung mines of the gold mining industry.

"Decaying rail infrastructure meets rising tonnage of cyanide; the scene is set for a derailment and a major cyanide spill. Just a matter of time," he predicts.

"If a cyanide spill happens in the rain in the Bellinger catchment, goodbye oysters, goodbye by fish, goodbye river life."

To drive home this message, local citizens will gather by the rail near Urunga. They plan to stop a cyanide freight train.

from 6 pm Thursday 24 May 2007
at the Yellow Rock Road level crossing
beside the Pacific Highway
between the Bellingen turn off and Urunga, NSW

They will be wanting to hear from the drivers how much sodium cyanide they are carrying. They will be wanting to know exactly how much and how often the cyanide passes through the towns and waterways of the NSW north coast.

At this time neither the maker of the cyanide, Orica, the transporter, Pacific National, nor the approver of its transport as a Dangerous Good, the NSW Minister for Planning, are being forthcoming.

The reasons given are national security and commercial confidence. See http://www.peacebus.com.cyber-pod.com/CyanideWatch/070417ToxicEvasions.html

"Not good enough," says Dunstan. "How can local people plan for an emergency response if the magnitude of the hazard they face is kept secret?"

"We want the facts, so we intend to stop the freight trains and ask the drivers direct."

Cyanide is a deadly poison that is used in huge quantities by the gold mining industry. Most of the cyanide used in Australia is made by Orica Australia Ltd at its plant in Gladstone, Queensland, rail freighted to Sydney and then west to the far flung gold mines.

"Contrary to the claims of the gold miners, cyanide spills are common and often disastrous," said Mr Dunstan. "Local people and their waterways are effected by these spills and it is local people who are called upon to clean them up."

Dunstan said that because the freight time table is unknown, the Urunga cyanide blockade will take the form of a lantern lit vigil by the rail and a community meeting of people interested to defend local water ways from toxic spills.

"Bring lanterns, bring food and beverage to share,"

More information
Graeme Dunstan Cyanide Watch 0407 951 688
Natalie Lowrey, Friends of the Earth, 0421 356 067

Media Release 2 May Toronto

Peter Munk, Chair of Barrick Gold Admits Liability for The Desecration Of Lake Cowal Sacred Site, Australia

At today's Barrick Gold AGM held at the Convention Centre in Toronto, Neville 'Chappy' Williams, traditional owner of Lake Cowal and Western Shoshone delegates from Nevada successfully questioned the Barrick Gold Board of Directors during the live webcast. Shareholders were amazed and concerned the interveners had traveled so far to raise their objections

Peter Munk tried to explain why Barrick Gold shares continued their 'disappointing' decline in value whilst the mining industry is "drowning in liquidity" as he put it.

Peter Munk blamed Barrick Gold's demise on NGOs who pressure governments to require too many permits before mining can commence. He cited 500 permits before the controversial Pascua Lama could begin construction in a glacier area on the border of Chile and Argentina.

The Western Shoshone delegate, granddaughter of the late Mary Dann articulated her intense opposition to Barrick's plan to mine her Peoples' sacred mountain.

Next Neville 'Chappy' Williams too the microphone and passionately put his case and personally served a Notice to Quit on Peter Munk and the Board of Dirctors. He stated: "On April 07, Barrick's mines manager, Bill Shallvey, refused to be served this document. As an elder of the Wiradjuri Nation I serve this document on Barrick Gold o behalf of the Mooka and Kalara united families within the Wiradjuri Nation."

The Notice to Cease Illegal Occupation of Lake Cowal includes: "Under Wiradjuri custom, tradition and Law/Lore you have received your three warnings. You must now respect the unceded sovereignty of the Wiradjuri Nation and cease all operations; restore the landscape; remove all equipment and replace all artifacts to their GPS'd positions." We reserve our right to take further action as necessary."

After the AGM Neville 'Chappy' Williams approached Peter Munk and stressed that Barrick Gold is desecrating the sacred site of Lake Cowal. Peter Munk tried to say he had so many employees he didn't really know what Barrick Gold was doing.

Eleanor Gilbert, challenged this by saying: "But the buck stops with you Mr Munk. Ultimately you are the one responsible." Peter Munk agreed.

Neville Williams continued by detailing the desecration and stressed his right to religious freedom under section 116 of the Australian Constitution. As Peter Munk moved away he turned to Neville Williams and with a haunted look in his eyes said: "I'm so sorry."

Media from Quebec and Chile recorded Peter Munk's admission of liability. Later a shareholder approached Neville Williams saying: "I've got shares in Barrick. I'm thinking now whether I should sell my shares in Barrick Gold."

In a peaceful demonstration outside the AGM supporters were handing out the Alternative Annual Report for Barrick Gold [www.protestbarrick.net] when two were roughly arrested for trespassing whilst they stood on the sidewalk.

Natalie Lowrey

National Liaison Officer
Friends of the Earth Australia
T: 02 4782 1181

Media Alert 2nd May 2007

Concerned Citizens Blockade Cyanide Trucks

10 am Wednesday 2 May 2007
Dasea Street, (off Muir, near Rookwood Road)
Chullora NSW

In support of solidarity actions across the world against mining giant Barrick Gold, concerned citizens in Sydney will blockade trucks transporting cyanide to Barrick's mine at Lake Cowal, central western NSW.

Up to 6090 tonnes of cyanide is being transported from the Orica plant in Gladstone, Queensland, 1600km away, to Lake Cowal every year. The cyanide is being freighted by train over 20 rivers, through 10 national parks and through 200 towns and trucked through densely populated areas of Sydney from Chullora to Parramatta and the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains.

"We want the facts," said Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan. "We want communities in Australia to know about the possible threat from a cyanide spill to their public health and water ways."

"The maker of the cyanide, Orica, the transporter, Pacific National, and the approver of its transport as a Dangerous Good, the NSW Minister for Planning, are all withholding the facts on the grounds of national security and commercial confidence," says Dunstan http://www.peacebus.com.cyber-pod.com/CyanideWatch/070417ToxicEvasions.html

The protestors demand to know how appropriate emergency response can be planned for a cyanide spill if the magnitude of the hazard continues to be kept a secret to both Sydney citizens and the responding agencies.

This action will be just one of many actions being targeted at Barrick Gold, the world's biggest gold producer and cyanide criminal on the day of its AGM in Toronto. http://www.protestbarrick.net

More information:
Graeme Dunstan Cyanide Watch 0407 951 688
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch

International Day of Action Against Barrick Gold http://www.protestbarrick.net

The International Day of Action Against Barrick Gold solidarity actions in: Australia; Peru; Argentina; Chile; Phillipines; USA; Canada; Europe and Papua New Guinea. http://protestbarrick.net/article.php?id=82

Download the Alternative Barrick Annual Report: http://protestbarrick.net/downloads/barrick_report.pdf

Contact: Natalie Lowrey (Toronto, Canada) 0011 1 647 268 4440

Media Release 25 April 2007

Shut the mine and save water - forever.

Bill Shallvey, the PR flak for the Barrick Gold mine at Lake Cowal, is asking equal treatment for the mine when it comes to Murray Darling water allocation. See http://abc.net.au/news/australia/nsw/orange/200704/s1904948.htm

"What on Earth does Bill Shallvey mean by equal?" asks Cyanide Watch campaigner Graeme Dunstan.

"In all the Murray Darling Basin, what is equal to the Barrick Gold mine when it comes to consumption (up to 17 mega liters a day), when it comes to toxicity (6090 tonnes of cyanide a year permanently poisoning the water it uses), and when it comes to land degradation (the pit to be left behind will be 1 km long, 800 m wide and 325 m deep, a permanent lake of poison, a toxic legacy forever)?"

"Mr Shallvey regards the underground water he might pump from if the Lachlan is cut as a source with a lightness that borders on contempt," Mr Dunstan said.

"He is talking about the Bland Paleochannel, an ancient artesian reserve of potable water laid down in the time of the dinosaurs now being stolen from future generations for the short term profits of a foreign gold miner," he said.

That artesian source was embargoed for further agricultural use until Barrick came along. Then the NSW government changed its mind and gave Barrick licenses to pump - unsustainably and for free - up to 17 mega liters a day.

"What is equal about the government influence a foreign owned mining company can buy?" he asks.

Shut the mine. Save the river, save the Lake, save the towns, save the people and save water for ever.

Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch

Media Release 3 April 2007

Earth Defenders celebrate Easter at Lake Cowal

Environmental activists will be gathering from around Australia to celebrate Easter with a Corroboree at the gates of Barrick Gold's Lake Cowal mine this Easter.

Amongst them will be Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan, captain of the nomadic Peacebus.com.

Last month Mr Dunstan was responsible for the stopping of a cyanide freight train on the Brisbane-Sydney line south of Kyogle.

"It has become an annual tradition now to gather at Lake Cowal each Easter and bear witness to the destruction wrought by Barrick' Gold's greed," he said.

"We Earth defenders gather each Easter and affirm our commitment to close the Lake Cowal mine, to stop the transport of bulk cyanide, to indict the cyanide criminals and to ban cyanide leach gold mining for ever," he said.

Last year 80 protesters invaded the mine site on Easter Sunday and closed down the mining operation for 6 hours.

"The Barrick mine at Lake Cowal is an environmental disaster on grand scale and already, with the complicity of the NSW government, it has bent its development consents," he said.

"After six months of operation Barrick found that there was not enough water for them to sustain their toxic needs in the licenses granted by the NSW government to pump from the Bland Paleochannel," he said.

"Barrick has since bought up irrigation licenses and is now pumping water directly from the Lachlan River," he said.

"What kind of progress and prosperity follows from permanently poisoning surface water from the Murray Darling basin in time of drought? Who benefits?" he asks.

"Not local people or future generations, that's for sure," he said.

Further information
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
Nat Lowrey 0401 881 268

Media Release 26 March 2007

Stopping the cyanide: next time by stealth

Contrary to other news reports, the small band of Cyanide Watch protesters did stop the Pacific National cyanide freighter on the rail south of Kyogle last Thursday evening.

"But only briefly," reports Cyanide Watch campaigner and Peacebus.com captain, Graeme Dunstan.

"Well warned by both the police and us, the loco driver approached the level crossing very cautiously, paused to make sure we we clear of the track and then came past slowly so that we were able to count the containers of Orica cyanide on board."

"By lantern light, we counted eight 20 tonne containers," he reports. "Each of them with enough cyanide to poison every Australian man, women and child at least once over."

"That's 160 tonne of secret cyanide on just one Pacific National freight train on just on one night of the year," said Dunstan. "Do the sums and be alarmed."

The protest action attracted national and international media attention because it represented a new tactic in challenging the toxic practices of the multi national gold miners who are presently permanently poisoning Australian water on huge scale and who, greed enflamed by the record price of gold, aim to poison much more in the near future.

"The action showed how vulnerable rail transport is to blockades," reports Dunstan.

"This time we informed the police and the freight company of our intention and our location and attempted to negotiate a safe win-win for all parties," said Dunstan.

"But once again the NSW police proved they can be trusted only to be untrustworthy."

"At the last moment the Duty Officer, Inspector Scott Bingham, reneged on all agreements he had made, stopped talking to us and marched in a squad of Local Area Command of Operations Special Group police (anti-terror/riot busters), who muscled us and attempted to suppress the blockade," said Dunstan.

"We held our peace but gave them a clear warning," he said.

"Next time by stealth."

Dunstan envisions blockades all along the toxic trail from Gladstone where Orica makes the poison down the line to Brisbane and Sydney, across Sydney and across the Blue Mountains and on the western line too.

"I would like to see cyanide freight blockades become a sporting pass time for eco-warriors young and old and prizes offered for the most picturesque blockades." he said.

"Imagine a freight train stalled on the Grafton Bridge or over the Hawkesbury or in the middle of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, source of most of Sydney's water: some thing utterly alarming and appalling."

Our aim is to alert local people to the cyanide hazard and mobilise local grass roots resistance," he said. "We are determined to drag the NSW Government into accountability, ban the transport of bulk cyanide and the practice of cyanide leach gold mining for ever."

Further information
www.peacebus.com
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

Media Release 20 March 2007

Blockade to expose cyanide transport threat

The blockade of a Pacific National cyanide freight train will take place Kyogle on United Nations World Day for Water, from 4 pm Thursday 22 March.

The blockade has been planned by activists from Cyanide Watch to draw attention to the dangers of transporting the bulk cyanide used by the gold mining industry and particularly the threat posed to local water supplies.

Greens candidate for Lismore, Andy Gough, said: "The cyanide spill north of Tennant Creek a few weeks back made plain the potential threat created by the transport of bulk cyanide used by the gold mining industry through the Richmond Valley."

"We want to expose that threat to the public and get the NSW Labor government to come clean about the secret deals it has struck with cyanide maker, Orica, to ship thousands of tonnes of cyanide a year through the Richmond Valley."

Pacific National is the sole carrier of Orica cyanide on the Brisbane-Sydney line and blockade organiser, Graeme Dunstan, intends to notify their Brisbane depot at Acacia Ridge on Thursday of the planned blockade to ensure the blockade happens safely for all involved.

"Distress flares will be used to warn the train driver of the blockade from at least a kilometer up the line. Tied to bamboo sticks and held high they will illuminate the freight train and create a very dramatic image," Mr Dunstan said.

The non-violent blockade will take the form of a lantern lit vigil by the track assembling from 4 pm and going on into the evening, with flags and banners, a camp fire, a talking circle, networking and movement building.

A bus to transport protesters to the blockade has been organised from Nimbin and a party of students from South Cross University are also organising to be involved.

Further information
UN World Day for Water
Andy Gough 0427 458 846
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch

See the report of the Kyogle Shire Environmental Services manager on cyanide transport through the Shire.

Media Release 9 February 2007

Call for Direct Action on Cyanide Transport

"The cyanide that spilled on the Stuart highway 130km north of Tennant Creek on Wednesday, was manufactured in Orica's plant in Gladstone and was freighted through the Richmond Valley by rail," said Cyanide Watch spokesperson, Graeme Dunstan.

"It was just 20 tonnes of an estimated 30,000 tonnes a year of secret cyanide approved by the NSW government for transport through NSW to the far flung gold mines of Australia."

"The spill has demonstrated once again that the bulk transport of cyanide is intrinsically and inevitably hazardous," he said.

"That spill could have happened anywhere along the line," he said. "And if had happened in the rain and in the Richmond Valley, it would be good bye fish and all other aquatic life in the Richmond River."

"I am calling for Northern Rivers residents to join me in direct action to blockade a cyanide freight train," he said.

"It will be at a place and a time of our choosing," he said

"Our intention will be to let the cyanide makers, transporters and users know that we are serious when we say: stop the cyanide and indict the cyanide criminals."

Further information
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch

Media Release 11 September 2006

Walking the Cyanide Route to Lake Cowal - Grafton

A party of walkers will arrive in Grafton this Tuesday on a sacred mission.

They walk to bear witness for Lake Cowal, the ephemeral lake near West Wyalong, largest inland lake in NSW when full, and described by traditional owner, Neville "Chappie" Williams as the sacred heartland of the Wiradjuri people.

Lake Cowal is now being desecrated and degraded by cyanide gold mining.

Winiata Puru and friends are walking the cyanide route from its place of manufacture in Gladstone Queensland to Lake Cowal.

The cyanide bound for Lake Cowal crosses the Clarence River at Grafton, 6,090 tonnes a year for the next 13 years on the rail.

This just the known part of a mountain of cyanide approved by the NSW Minister of Planning in recent years for transport through Grafton for other gold mines in western NSW and as far away as Kalgoolie.

Winiata is a dancer trained in both jazz and Indian classical traditions. For 14 years he was the keeper of the sacred fire at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.

So that many hearts might hear the cry of the Wiradjuri and the birds of Lake Cowal, he has choreographed a dance he calls the Lake Cowal Bird dance and which he performs to Kev Carmodie's song "Thou Shalt Not Steal".

The Walkers will arrive at the Grafton Civic Centre at noon tomorrow Tuesday 12 September and then, bearing flags, proceed to cross the Clarence on the rail/road bridge.

Winiata is being supported in his mission by Peacebus.com and Peacebus.net and many friends along the way, friends of the Wiradjuri, friends of the Earth.

Grafton friends of the Cyanide Walkers will witness the performance of Winiata's at The Emporium, Skinner Street, South Grafton at a fund raising reception there 5-6 pm Friday 15 September

Further information
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com 0407 951 688
Winiata Puru on the road 0413 577 907
Annie Dodd The Emporium 6643 3525

Media Release 10 August 2006

Kyogle Councillor Seeks Cyanide Facts

Cr Peter Lewis, Chair of the Kyogle Shire Emergency Services committee, will be undertaking to get the facts about cyanide transports through Kyogle when he addresses the Cyanide Watch Speak Out there

from 11 am tomorrow Friday 11 August 2006
Stratheden Street, Kyogle.

Peacebus.com captain, Graeme Dunstan, addressed the Kyogle Shire Emergency Committee meeting last night on the hazard created by the bulk transport of deadly cyanide through Kyogle Shire - 30,000 tonnes a year according to Dunstan's estimate.

The Committee later reviewed the Condobolin cyanide spill and contemplated the ruinous consequence for agriculture in the Richmond valley that would follow if a derailment and spill of that size was also accompanied by rain.

"I am resolved first to get the facts right," said Cr Lewis. "I will be recommending to Council that it ask the NSW Minister for Planning to reveal the total amount of sodium cyanide his Ministry has approved for transport through Kyogle."

"Without the facts we cannot even begin to assess the hazard or an appropriate local response," he said.

"Cr Lewis is to be congratulated for taking the initiative," said Mr Dunstan. "Good to see some political responsibility being taken on the matter."

"No community has ever been consulted about the acceptability of the hazard that this toxic transport creates for the health and safety of local people and the waterways over which the cyanide transports pass," Dunstan said.

"Yet come a spill, local volunteers will be called upon to clean it up."

"Stop the cyanide. Indict the cyanide criminals."

Further information www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Cr Peter Lewis 0428 579 362
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

PS ERRATUM

In the previous email some of the arithmetic wrong by a factor of ten.

30,000 tonnes of cyanide a year is equivalent to 1,500 twenty tonne shipping containers, an average of 30 containers a week or 4 a day.

That still means that each south bound freight is likely to be carrying a container of two of cyanide.

Media Release 9 August 2006

Kyogle Cyanide Watch

Nimbin Environment Centre will be joining with local Kyogle environmentalists to back Peacebus.com at a Cyanide Watch Speak Out in Kyogle

from 11 am Friday 11 August 2006
gathering in Stratheden Street, Kyogle

The Speak Out aims to make local people aware of the hazard created for local people and their waterways by the bulk transport of cyanide for the gold mining industry and toxic legacy that it creates for future generations.

"Cyanide is lethal," said Cyanide Watchman Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com. "Just a gram ingested is enough to kill an adult human."

"At present the gold mining industry is bulk freighting and consuming at its far flung mines around Australia about 60,000 tonnes a year of the stuff," said Dunstan.

Cyanide is used to extract gold from low grade ores and in the process permanently poisons water on vast scale."

An estimated 30,000 tonnes a year of deadly cyanide passes through Kyogle and the head waters of the Richmond River on its way from the Orica manufacturing plant in Gladstone Qld to the gold mines in a western NSW and Western Australia where it used.

"This means 1,500 twenty tonne containers a year or an average of 300 a week or 40 a day!"

"See a south bound freight train, know that it is carrying secret cyanide and wonder how much faith there is to be had in the rail infrastructure," he said.

"The gold miners are cyanide criminals", said Mr Dunstan. "Their crimes are against the Earth and the future generations coming after us."

"Governments State and Federal have been colluding with the gold mining by keeping secret the scale of the toxic hazard created by bulk transport of cyanide and the long term toxic consequences of cyanide gold mining," he said.

"Despite denials by gold miners, cyanide accidents world wide are regular, common and sometimes on a disastrous scale such as the 1999 Romanian spill that killed aquatic life along 1000 km of the Tizer-Danube Rivers," he said.

Near Condobolin NSW in July 1992, the derailment of a freight train carrying 120 tonnes of cyanide bound for Kalgoolie led to the evacuation of homes in a 3 km radius, closure of roads and a clean up that took 10 days work from 40 volunteers from the local fire brigades. Fortunately no rain fell. See www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch/060627CondobolinSpill.html

The Kyogle Cyanide Watch will be calling for political accountability for the cyanide hazard, a ban on cyanide gold mining and end to the transport of bulk cyanide by road, rail and sea.

"No community has ever been consulted about the acceptability of the hazard that this toxic transport creates for the health and safety of local people and the waterways over which the cyanide transports pass," Dunstan says. "Yet come a spill, local volunteers will be called upon to clean it up."

Stop the Cyanide. Indict the cyanide criminals.

Further information
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

Media Release 17 July 2006

Gladstone Cyanide Watch

The managers of the Orica cyanide plant at Yarwun, Gladstone, have been ordered by their Melbourne head office to be silent when Cyanide Watch goes to the gates of the plant and accuses them of crimes against the Earth and future generations, 11 am Tuesday 18 July.

Thirty students on a 14-day Queensland Activist Road Trip will support the action with their witness.

"Orica Chemicals plant in Gladstone makes an estimated 80,000 tonnes of deadly sodium cyanide annually: This makes it the biggest corporate cyanide criminal in Australia, third biggest in the world," said Peacebus.com captain, Graeme Dunstan.

In Sydney Orica has been accused of criminal negligence for its poisoning of ground water at Botany," said Mr Dunstan. "But when compared to the vast quantities of water poisoned by their cyanide in gold processing, their Botany crimes are small scale."

Nearly all of Orica's cyanide is used to extract gold in a process that permanently poison's vast amounts of water. For example the newly opened Barrick Gold mine at Lake Cowal in central NSW will over 13 years extract 80 tonnes of gold. To do this they will use 80,000 tonnes of Orica cyanide and permanently poison each year water equivalent in volume to the annual domestic consumption of the Sunshine Coast.

Dunstan also accuses Orica of making secret deals with government to ship the cyanide.

"How many citizens and how any emergency service workers are aware of the hazard created by shipping cyanide through towns and over water ways and by sea through the Barrier Reef?" he asks.

"People are surprised and concerned to learn that in secret agreements, the governments of NSW and Qld have approved the transport of an estimated 30,000 tonnes a year down the rail trunk line, Gladstone to Brisbane, Brisbane to Sydney. That's about 40 twenty tonne containers a week, or 6 a day.

"See a south bound freight train and know it is likely to be carrying deadly cyanide," Dunstan said.

"Despite denials by gold miners, cyanide accidents world wide are common place and too often on a disastrous scale such as the 1999 Romanian spill that killed aquatic life along 1000 km of the Tizer-Danube Rivers," he said.

Near Condobolin NSW in July 1992, a derailment of a freight train carrying 120 tonnes of cyanide bound for Kalgoolie led to evacuation of homes in a 3 km radius, closure of roads and a clean up that took 10 days work from 40 volunteers from the local fire brigades. Fortunately no rain fell. See www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch/060627CondobolinSpill.html

"The world does NOT need more gold. But it needs now, and it will need in the future, more clean water," said Mr Dunstan. "Stop the cyanide! Indict the cyanide criminals!"

Further information: www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Graeme Dunstan Cyanidse Watch 0407 951 688
Miranda, Activist Bus Trip, 0414 535 164

Letter to the Operations Manager Chemicals
Orica Australia Ltd , 12 July 2006

CYANIDE CRIMES

Mr Rod Waldron
Operations Manager Chemicals
Orica Australia Ltd

Mr Waldron,

Cyanide Watch will be in Gladstone next Monday and Tuesday bearing witness to the cyanide crimes of Orica Australia, the biggest cyanide maker in Australia and third largest in the world, we understand.

We will be publicly accusing you and your fellow managers of crimes against the Earth and the future generations who will live upon it.

We understand that you make and ship the cyanide which the gold mining industry uses to extract gold and permanently poison the water of future generations in this land and that of our Oceania neighbours on vast, vast scale.

We accuse you and your employer Orica of profitting mightily in doing so.

Is it true that 43% of Orica revenues in the past six months have come from cyanide sales?

If you and your fellow cyanide making managers - Mike Sparrow, Technical & Major Projects manager, David Ellison, Manager Logisitics and Chris Auramopoulos, General Manager Mining Chemicals - wish to defend yourselves from these charges, Cyanide Watch would be happy to give you the opportunity of an open mike forum to do so.

I will be in Gladstone to set up the action on Monday and would be happy to meet with you and discuss the matter. 0407 951 688

May you children not despise you.

May all beings be well and happy,

Graeme Dunstan
Peacebus.com/CyanideWatch

Media Release 1 July 2006 2006

Casino Cyanide Watch .

Nimbin Environment Centre will be backing Peacebus.com in a Cyanide Watch SpeakOut in Casino

from 11 am Friday 7 July 2006
gathering outside the Casino Post Office

The Cyanide Watch SpeakOut will bear witness to the hazard created for communities and their waterways by the transport of bulk cyanide for the gold mining industry.

It will be calling for political accountability for the cyanide hazard, a ban on cyanide gold mining and end to the transport of bulk cyanide by road, rail and sea.

On the 30 March the NSW Government, in response to persistent questions asked by Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon in the NSW Parliament, revealed that the cyanide route for the newly opened, and much opposed, gold mine at Lake Cowal near West Wyalong would pass by rail along the Brisbane-Sydney trunk line - 6090 tonnes each year for 13 years.

"Cyanide is lethal," said Cyanide Watchman Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com. "Just a gram ingested is enough to kill an adult human."

"Despite denials by gold miners, cyanide accidents world wide are regular, common and often on a disastrous scale such as the 1999 Romanian spill that killed aquatic life along 1000 km of the Tizer-Danube Rivers," he said.

Near Condobolin NSW in July 1992, a derailment of a freight train carrying 120 tonnes of cyanide bound for Kalgoolie led to evacuation of homes in a 3 km radius, closure of roads and a clean up that took 10 days work from 40 volunteers from the local fire brigades. Fortunately no rain fell. See www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch/060627CondobolinSpill.html

"No community has ever been consulted about the acceptability of the hazard that this toxic transport creates for the health and safety of local people and the waterways over which the cyanide transports pass," Dunstan says.

But the approval of 6090 tonnes a year of cyanide for Barrick Gold's Lake Cowal gold mine is just the admitted part of the hidden mountain of cyanide approved by the NSW government in secret deals done with the foreign owned gold mining industry.

The chemical giant Orica makes about 80,000 tonnes of sodium cyanide a year at its Gladstone (Qld) plant. Cyanide for gold mines in NSW and some as far away as Kalgoolie in Western Australia is shipped by rail from Gladstone through Brisbane to Sydney then west.

"We cannot say, for sure because the NSW Government is being so secretive, but my guess is that about 30,000 tonnes a year is going through Kyogle, Casino and the catchments for the Richmond and Clarence Rivers," Dunstan says.

"This means 1,500 twenty tonne containers a year or an average of 300 a week or 40 a day!"

"See a south bound freight train, know that it is carrying secret cyanide and wonder how much faith there is to be had in the rail infrastructure," he said. "Stop the cyanide!"

Further information
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

Letter to the Editor
Blue Mountains Gazette, 2 June 2006

WATER RIGHTS

A Bill of Rights was advocated an ALP Community Forum which took place in the Civic Centre Saturday 27 May and I took the opportunity to speak for the rights of future generations and in particular their right to clean water.

Local member and Minister for the Environment, Bob Debus responded by affirming and diminishing the right of future generations to clean water by saying that environmental rights were included within economic rights.

Bob has got the cart before the horse. If you don't have clean water, you don't have economy and in the face of thirst, sickness and grief at the death of wildlife, children and frail folk, all other rights become meaningless.

But let's not talk in the abstract. Let's rather address the needs of our times and make the assertion of the clean water rights a future generations a matter of civil society now. Consider this:

The recently opened gold mine at Lake Cowal will over the next thirteen years use 80,000 tonnes of cyanide to extract about 850 tonnes of gold. Cyanide is lethal and it will come from the Orica manufacturing plant in Gladstone, shipped by rail through the Blue Mountains - 6090 tonnes a year.

What are the rights of future generations here? Why should the short term profits of a transient foreign owned gold mining corporation compromise the safety and water quality of Blue Mountains residents now or in the future?

More over, cyanide gold processing poisons water on enormous scale. When Barrick Gold leaves this land with the gold, they will leave behind at Lake Cowal, the biggest ephemeral wetland in NSW, two artifical lakes of tailings dams of permanently poisoned water each 1.2 km square. Over time these will leach back into the ground water of the Lachlan and Murray Darling basin.

Poison water in the ground, poison dust in the air, a toxic legacy forever.

Someone respecting the rights of future generations would know deep in their hearts that this is wrong and that allowing the cyanide to pass is to be complicit in an environmental crime.

And what worth is good conscience without good action?

Stop the cyanide. If you want to help, contact:

Graeme Dunstan
Peacebus.com

Media Release 25 May 2006

ACTION ALERT
Katoomba Saturday 27 May 2006
.

This is a rallying call for Cyanide Watch

The Honorable Bob Debus, NSW Minister for the Environment, Attorney General, Minister for the Arts and member for the Blue Mountains, will be speaking at an ALP Forum advocating a Bill of Rights.

4.30-6.30 pm Saturday 27 May 2006
at the Katoomba Civic Centre.

This is a rare opportunity. Debus rarely visits his electorate and Cyanide Watch is eager for him to say publicly where he stands on cyanide transport through the Blue Mountains.

His office didn't deign respond to the request made by Blue Mountain FoE last March for a meeting with him in his electorate to talk about the matter. And now he has come to us.

Come and support Cyanide Watch when we go to the ALP Forum and demand a public response from Debus both as a responsible citizen, as an elected member of parliament and as the NSW Minister for the Environment.

The aim is not to disrupt the Forum; rather it is to extend its relevance.

Personally I reckon a Bill of Rights is desperately needed; not that I have much faith in the ALP ever delivering it or anything else it promises unless its more jails and more cyanide.

Moreover I want a Bill of Rights that protects the rights of future generations to clean water. Let's see ourselves as bearing witness for the rights of future generations.

Assemble outside the Civic Centre at 4 pm.

Yorro! Yorro! Everyone, everything, standing up alive!

For the Earth! To the dust!

Graeme Dunstan
Cyanide Watch

RSVP 0407 951 688

Media Release 19 April 2006

Cyanide Speak Out in Dubbo

Cyanide Watch, the campaign to stop the transport of bulk cyanide by road and rail, will conduct a Speak Out in Dubbo

from 12.30 pm Friday 21 April
near the Rotunda in Macquarie St, Dubbo

The SpeakOut will be an open microphone opportunity for local people to express their hopes and fears about the prospect of Dubbo becoming a cyanide distribution centre for western NSW.

"In particular I am inviting local councillors, elected members and civic leaders who approve the use of Dubbo for cyanide transportation, or reckon it to be an acceptable risk, to come forward and say so in front of the news cameras," said Cyanide Watch organiser, Graeme Dunstan.

Meanwhile Mr Dunstan is pleased to report that the cyanide transports for the Lake Cowal gold mine have been put on hold.

After 4 days of road witness at the Barrick Gold mine gates at Lake Cowal and in the Newell Highway towns of West Wyalong, Forbes and Parkes, the Cyanide Watchers say that of the 6090 tonnes of cyanide annually that will be transported through these towns to the Lake Cowal gold mine, none had passed.

Furthermore the Dubbo Area Patrol Commander, Inspector Brad Burns, has informed Mr Dunstan, who had promised to come to Dubbo on Friday 21 April and identify and blockade the rail to road transfer dump that the cyanide supplier, Orica, will create in Dubbo, that there is no cyanide presently being held in Dubbo because "they knew you were coming."

"The 4 day respite from the cyanide hazard is, however temporary, a small but significant victory for the campaign to ban cyanide gold mining," said Mr Dunstan.

"With the future of their $300 million set up investment at Lake Cowal at stake, Barrick Gold and their cyanide supplier Orica must seriously be considering their options at this time," he said.

"They would be unwise to assume the opposition to the cyanide transports is likely to diminish while they muddle about and they would be deluded to think they might achieve delivery by stealth."

"We know how to wait," he said.

Further information
www.peacebus.com/CyanideWatch
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

Media Release 10 April 2006

Cyanide Watch to be Launched at Lake Cowal

Cyanide Watch, a campaign to bear witness to the hazards of bulk cyanide transportation, will begin this Easter at the gates of the newly openned Barrick Gold mine at Lake Cowal near West Wyalong NSW.

"Cyanide gold mining and the bulk cartage of cyanide through poplulation centres and over waterways is a catastrophe waiting to happen," said Graeme Dunstan, spokesperson of Cyanide Watch.

Cyanide, a deadly poison, is used to extract gold and the Lake Cowal gold mine will consume 6,090 tonnes of raw sodium cyanide a year for the next 13 years.

The NSW government had been reluctant to reveal the route that the cyanide would take getting from the manufacturing plant in Gladstone Qld to the Lake, 1600 km away.

But last Thursday, responding to questions put in the NSW Parliament by Lee Rhiannon MLC of the NSW Greens, the government announced the route and revealed that it will be freighted by rail from Gladstone, Qld, to the Chullora rail yards, then by road through Bankstown and Auburn to Parramatta, then by rail again through the Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo; and then by road along the through Peak Hill, Parkes, Condobalin, Forbes and West Wyalong.

"If the cyanide is packed in 20 tonne containers that is the equivalent of 150 double-B transports a year or about 3 a week," said Cyanide Watch spokesperson, Graeme Dunstan.

"Cyanide spills and cyanide kills," said Mr Dunstan. "If it gets into rivers it is deadly to aquatic life. If it gets into bellies or on skin, it is deadly to humans. Around the world, cyanide accidents of the gold mining industry are regular and common"

Mr Dunstan claims that the NSW Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor deceived the Parliament when he said that "the transport of cyanide is subject to strict Commonwealth and State statutory standards designed to ensure that such material is transported safely."

"The Dangerous Goods regulations may be strict but they regulate very little in regard to cyanide," Mr Dunstan said. "Apart from needing an approved tank and there being a prohibition on transport through tunnels, cyanide can be transported on any road, at any time and in any road condition. No notification of emergency services is required and no provision is made for training local authorities in emergency responses to a cyanide spill."

After Easter, Cyanide Watch will go to the towns along the cyanide route and promote direct action to stop the cyanide transports at local level.

Further information
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

 

Media Release 1 February 2006

Cyanide Watch Campaign Launch Byron Bay

The Mayor of Byron Shire, Cr Jan Barham, will launch the Peacebus Cyanide Watch campaign with a colourful ceremony at:

noon Friday 3 February 2006
in Prestons Lane Tyagarah (great view of Cape Byron and the bay!)

Cyanide Watch aims to stop the transport of cyanide to the Lake Cowal gold mine near West Wyalong in central NSW.

The Lake Cowal goldmine is due to start operations next month. The NSW government has ignored all objections of the Wiradjuri Native Title holders and major environmental organisations.

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.

Cyanide Watch will be a campaign of road witness and direct action in towns along the toxic trail to Lake Cowal and it will be backed nationally by Friends of Earth Australia.

Another step in the campaign to save Lake Cowal, Cynanide Watch is in the tradition of environmental activism campaigning against cyanide gold mines that established itself in this region with the successful campaign (1995-2003) to close down the Timbarra cyanide goldmine near Tenterfield. Jan Barham was active in that campaign.

"I am pleased to be giving this Peacebus mission my personal blessings," said Cr Jan Barham. "Cyanide gold mining is poisoning ground water on a scale so hugely and permanently polluting as to be criminal. From the point of view of future generations in this land, the sooner it is banned the better."

"Just as Byron gets the first light of every day in Australia, it also getting the first light of new cultural values in this land; including post industrial, Earth based values about inter generational equity.

"We all have a responsibility for passing these values on across this broad land and Peacebus is artfully taking it up and taking it west."

Further information
Cr Jan Barham 0407 296 137
Peacebus captain, Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688

Peacebus.net and Peacebus.com plus banner rig in Prestons Lane Tyagarah for the Rainbow Region media launch of Cyanide Watch, 3 February 2006


If you want to get Peacebus.com media releases, notice of upcoming actions and reports of those actions, send us @n email and we'll put you on our emailing list.

Peacebus.com can be contacted in Australia on 0407 951 688
and by email at graemedunstan( at )peacebus.com

 

Doing best we can. For peace!
For justice! For the Earth!

web-design by rebelart ;O)--~