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20 September 2001

Squalor bears penalties for us all

NSW Department of Mineral Resources Director-General Allan Coutts issued a stern warning to the mining industry in July this year. If they did not refrain from littering and leaving rubbish it would result in increased security deposits, forfeiture of security deposits, imposition of fines and, where warranted, cancellations of titles, he said.

Since then many areas of squalor have been identified and Walgett Shire Council Engineer, Roly Lawford, has promised they too will vigorously pursue offenders. We inspected a number of the areas and were shocked at the total disregard for the environment and blatant abuse of reasonable guidelines that can be viewed within a stone's thrown of the town proper.

We are fortunate to live in an area rich in bird and animal life; to witness this disrespect is appalling.

In some areas the rubble obstructed the water courses, again causing immeasurable desecration. Council have accepted that limited access to the refuse tip may compound matters so extended hours are planned.

They too warn that provision exists to impose fines up to $1100 for those found breaching the legislative requirements.

Sealing of the access road to the tip is anticipated to reduce the dust effects caused by those persons who do the right thing by utilising the tip.

We are reminded of our obligation to keep the area of mineral claims clean under Item 9 of the conditions of a mineral claim. If we become increasingly conscious of the responsibilities and vigilant of those who offend it is likely we will contain the escalating problems and minimise the costs that may be imposed upon us

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