Posted by Coromandel Watch Dog Media Release on 18/03/2014
Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki has made a substantial submission to the Proposed Thames Coromandel District Plan calling for mining to be prohibited, especially in residential areas and areas of high natural value.
â€œThe framework of the plan identifies areas of high value in terms of outstanding landscapes, amenity values, the coastal environment and natural character. These areas make up the backbone of reasons visitors come here and why many residents and businesses choose the Coromandel as their preferred place to â€˜live, work and playâ€™,â€ said Watchdog Coordinator RenÃ©e Annan.
â€œIt is vital that our communities and environment are protected from the instability that mining brings to the local economy and job market and from the legacy of toxic impacts including acid mine drainage and tailings storage.â€
Mining as a prohibited activity will lock out introduction of mining through resource consents. Instead any mining application would only be able to be introduced by way of a Plan Change process requiring companies to engage with the community and the Council to get more involved.
â€œZones of specific concern are residential, rural, coastal and conservation zones. This is where people live, work and play. Without prohibited activity status they will be vulnerable to situations like Waihi. This is totally contrary to the direction set out by residents and the council for the future of this district,â€ said Annan.
â€œThere is no reason for mining to receive a special chapter in the plan, considering there is no separate section for major activities such as housing. There hasnâ€™t been any large-scale mining activities within the district since the early 20th century. Devoting an entire section for this activity is ludicrous.â€
Over 400 submissions of support for Watchdogâ€™s stance were also received by the council.
â€œThroughout the hearings and if necessary the appeals process, Watchdog will urge the council to meet its obligations under the Resource Management Act to protect the environment, uphold community values and give weight and integrity to the Councilâ€™s own direction for the District.â€