Cyanide Watch Launched

February 1, 2006

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 Byron 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
Cyanide Watch
Background on Lake Cowal
Cr Jan Barham 0407 296 137
Peacebus captain, Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688