Updated 31/01/2014

The Drip Gorge - Goulburn River



Landholders neighbouring The Drip Gorge have offered to gift a portion of freehold land (LOT 51) to the Goulburn River National Park on the condition that Moolarben Coal agrees to include all of The Drip block (Lot 45) and land bordering the Goulburn River in an extension of the National Park. (MAP)

To show your support for this generous offer you can:

Contact the Premier online
and urge his government to accept this offer
Send an email or letter to the:

Minister for Planning - Hon. Brad Hazzard CONTACT
Minister for Mining - Hon. Anthony Robinson CONTACT
Minister for the Environment - Hon Robyn Parker CONTACT
Your Local Member MP CONTACT LIST

Write a letter to you local papers or respond online and
post a comment to these media articles:

Land Swap Plan to Protect Hunter Gorge THE HERALD
Drip Neighbours offer Land to National Park MUDGEE GUARDIAN
Local bid to protect The Drip from Mine THE LAND

Moolarben Coal claims to protect the Drip
But what they haven't said is...

  1. The National Park proposal is a tiny 0.75ha limited to the Drip cliff face; you only have to stand underneath the vast weight of this ancient dripping wall to appreciate how its beauty is bound up with its vulnerability.
  2. 53ha surrounding The Drip, proposed to be placed in a State Conservation Area, is not protected from mining. SCA protection is at the whim of the relevant Minister. Mt Sugarloaf SCA near Newcastle was severely damaged and permanently degraded by long-wall mining.
  3. The remaining 652ha will only be protected at some future time, after long-wall mining already approved for MCO Stage 1, and suffering impacts such as a dewatering bore field, >2 m subsidence and a grid of access roads.
  4. The top half of The Drip block (Lot 45) is to remain as Moolarben Coal land. Legal access to this unconnected 18ha of rugged bush country is unclear. MCO have yet to say why they plan to retain it.
  5. The dripping wall cannot stand alone; all of the land surrounding this irreplaceable groundwater dependent river gorge must be fully and permanently protected as well. Only National Park status will achieve this.
The Drip is not safe from future mining plans
Moolarben Coal are now exploring for coal to the north of the Goulburn River this is where the groundwater systems that feeds the ‘drips’ and the river are sourced.
If mining occurs above The Drip, the coal will have to be transported back either over or under the Goulburn River.
Peace and quiet, water flows and the stability of all the surrounding cliff faces will be put at an unacceptable risk.

Unfortunately it is all spin leading up to a Planning Assessment Commission hearing early next year for the Stage 2 expansion and modification 3 & 9 to Stage 1 proposals.

The community deserves to be informed about the future plans of Moolarben Coal so that the current proposal can be fully understood.
Stories can be found at following links:


Moolarben Coal Mine -
- proposes another expansion!!!
Stage 1: Modification 9
Details at Department of Planning website:
Summary of proposal:
  1. 5 year increase in mine life from 2028 to 2033.
  2. 25% increase in the Open-cut Mine footprint = 178 hectares (ha) increase in pit size
  3. Extension and joining of Open Cuts 1 & 2 - Total area of Stage 1 Open Cuts pits = 886 ha
  4. Removal of vegetated sandstone ridges (east-west and north-south)
    - 100m, 60m and 30m high ridge-line above the Moolarben valley floor.
  5. Clearing of an additional 171.4 hectares of native vegetation including 17.2 ha of Ecological Endangered Communities listed under the NSW Threatened Species Act (16.5 ha critically endangered listed federally under the EPBC)
  6. Open Cut 2 pit extends to within 100m of Moolarben Creek (headwaters Goulburn River).
  7. Overburden emplacement on edge of Moolarben Creek (Year16)
  8. Placement of haulage road down centre of the open cut mine area until 2033 (life of mine) severely limiting progressive rehabilitation and clean water management and diversion.

    1. The extensive surface disturbance, open cut pits and overburden emplacement in close proximity to Moolarben Creek represents a significant threat to downstream water quality from sediment and salinity discharge into the headwaters of the Goulburn River.
    Any sediment or mine water dam overflows or offsite discharges eventually flow into, and will impact on, the downstream ecology and water quality of the Goulburn River.
    2. All three ridge-line excavations are visible from multiple points in the landscape and face the densely populated Ridge Road and Cooks Gap community.
    3. Increased noise, dust and visual pollution for Ridge Road/cooks Gap community. MCO response is to “investigate the feasibility of targeted vegetation planting to screen affected properties along Ridge Road”
    4. Loss of confidence in planning process, public were repeatedly assured that over 100 conditions with the highest environmental standards would apply to this mine only to face on going impacts from subsequent modifications and Stage 2 expansions.
    5. MCO should use conveyor belt to transport coal to the operations area. This would significantly reduce mine truck movements and necessity for >12 kilometres of haulage road with associated significant noise and dust impacts which includes high water demand for dust suppression. It would also allow for a more efficient clean water surface diversion management structures (i.e. removes haulage road obstacle) and long delays in rehabilitation of the central pit area
    The Moolarben Coal Operations (MCO) proposed Stage 1: Modification 9 represents a significant expansion (not a minor adjustment) of the open cut footprint approved as part of Moolarben Coal Mine Stage 1 (2007).
    Stage 1 had many objectors and went before an independent expert panel for assessment. This resulted in some significant changes to the original plan and reduction in the mining footprint.
    However since the 2007 approval there has been 8 other modifications plus a Stage 2 development application that would potentially double the size and impacts of the Moolarben Coal Mine
    Modification 9 is an attempt through stealth to significantly increase the footprint of this coal mine from the original approval. MCO has a questionable environmental record and has been fined 3 times for non-compliance to EPL conditions for water pollution of the Goulburn River. The Moolarben Mine complex straddles the headwaters of the Goulburn River - Upper Hunter Valley.

We don’t need, and cannot sustain, five more mines in this region!


Lue Action Group formed to oppose
Kingsgate Silver Mine

"Impacts from the proposed mine on the Lue district will be life changing and irreversible".

Open-pit 1km wide x 300m deep
Only 1.5 kms from the Lue village

24hour/7 day operation
blasting 6 days per week



Mid Western Region

Link to Notes:

Solar Thermal Power Plant - Beryl
Slides , Notes


Stage 2 MCO is still being assessed by Department Planning.
.......PRIME7 NEWS on The Drip

Moolarben Coal Operations
(Yancoal Pty Ltd)
was fined in the Land and Environment Court for a number of pollution events of the Goulburn River in 2009 & 2010 . The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) provided evidence that extensive clearing and earthworks on the site of the Moolarben coal project did not have adequate sediment and erosion controls as required under their Conditions of Approval.

Moolarben Coal Mine Stage 2

NO immediate protection to

The Drip and Corner Gorges.

This regional icon on Goulburn River are part of a visually dramatic and culturally significant landscape - inspirational to many people including the Australian artist
Brett Whitely.
See interview with filmmaker Peter Kingston on the mural

This iconic place is priceless and should be granted maximum protection from mining
under the Goulburn River National Park




The O'Farrell Government's plans to develop a giant coal mine in Cobbora in NSW's Central West will be a financial and environmental burden on the states for decades to come.

Cobbora will be heavily subsidised by public funds, imposing a cost of $3.5
billion on NSW taxpayers. This is money that could be used to expand and create jobs in the renewable energy sector.
Proceeding with the development of the mine will perpetuate the expansion of dirty coal-fired electricity, costing billions of dollars in additional power infrastructure and driving up power bills. It is low grade coal which means even more coal needs to be dug up to end up with any that's useable for the power stations.
By securing a cheap source of coal for the state's power generators, Cobbora is being used to 'entice a buyer for the power stations. Households will bear the ongoing costs of supplying subsidised coal to private owners of the State's power stations.


Map of area showing Drip & Corner Gorge proposed National Park extension

"It is hard to believe that the massive and awe-inspiring rock formations, which form the Drip and Corner Gorges, have not been deemed significantly important to be included in the Goulburn River National Park; it is an oversight of monumental proportions – both literally and figuratively - if only that it fails to compensate the public for the enormous damage caused by mining and the noise to neighbouring properties.
However it is a much bigger issue that mere compensation to keep people happy; these rock formations belong to all who walk this planet, both now and always, and not to any mining company or any other private enterprise. They must remain part of the national estate, not only for all to enjoy but also, for the fundamental reason of protecting as much of the planet as possible. To that end, the very least this generation can do is to be good custodians of as much of the land as possible; to preserve and protect it. These majestic rock formations must, at the very least, be included in the Goulburn River National Park. This is a moral obligation we all share." M. Hope Submission 2012
At any stage this coal mine can legally STOP ALL PUBLIC ACCESS.
It is essential that this area is permanently protected from damage by mining and safeguarded for future generations as a source of inspiration, recreation and learning.


The beautiful
under threat from
coal mining

Bylong Valley Protection Alliance
21 Jan 11 | Mid-Western Regional Council has called for a moratorium on new exploration and mining in the Bylong Valley and a study into the effects of mining across the region
Moolarben Coal Mine in court over river pollutionBy 2012 the mines in just the Ulan Wollar area are planning to extract over 40 million tonnes per year of coal .
This amount of fossil carbon fuel will
produce over 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases
exceeding the total emissions from the whole transport system for Australia
(79 Million tonnes CO2-e - ABS 2004 )

Map of Ulan-Wollar
showing the extent of the

mining area

The open cut footprint
from these mines
is equvilent to a

1km wide X 52 kms long

pit dug from
Mudgee to the
Goulburn River
near The DRIP GORGE .
The ABC article wrongly states the mural is in National Park ! It is covered by a EL mining lease. Saga of Nude Brett Whitely Mural SMH Article
Links to other areas of the State also affected by Coal Mining .............. RiverSOS
Caroona Coal Action Group
Caroona, Liverpool Plains
Anvil Hill Alliance,
Wybong, Upper Hunter
Wyong Aust Gas Alliance
Wyong Valley
Bickham, Pages River
Upper Hunter
BARRINGTON-GLOUCESTER-STROUD Preservation Alliance also see
Rising Tide Website
Hunter Environment Lobby
Hunter Community Environment Centre

Loss of Biodiversity
Social Impacts
Land degradation
Global Warming....
Mudgee District Environment Group
Enquiries about this webpage
Email Webmaster
Di O'Mara
PO Box 114 Mudgee NSW 2850Contact:
Bev Smiles


Monthly Meetings
4th Thursday/month

........stop the
Coal industry from destroying our groundwater and rivers...

Mining threatens many catchments:

Follow the following links for more information
on mining impacts:
Waratah Riverlet, Nepean & Cataract Rivers - Sydney Water catchment
Wyong Valley -
Australian Coal Alliance
Caroona -
Liverpool Plains
Mammy's Creek - Gloucester
Pages River - Bickham Upper Hunter
BimbleBox Wildlife Refuge - Desert Uplands Qld.
Goulburn River Gorges - Upper Hunter Valley
It also destroys the biodiversity
and natural heritage;

fracture local communities
and fuels climate change...